Kentucky sues Purdue over drug abuse

There's been a lot of hand-wringing lately over the huge spike in painkiller abuse. Well, now the State of Kentucky is doing something about it--whether it's the right thing is up for debate. The state has sued Purdue Pharma, the maker of the oft-abused OxyContin.

The state wants Purdue to pay, not only for Medicaid prescriptions for the drug, but for drug-abuse programs and law enforcement costs stemming from OxyContin use. "This is war," one of the lawyers involved said.

For its part, Purdue is pledging to vigorously defend itself. But fueling Kentucky's fire is a May plea agreement in which the drug maker admitted to misleading the public about OxyContin's addictive properties, agreeing to pay some $635 million in fines.

- see the Kentucky Attorney General's press release
- read the AP report