DENVER — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Thursday that the state will receive nearly $5.7 million as a part of a national opioid lawsuit settlement.
Publicis Health has agreed to pay $350 million to several states impacted by the way it marketed opioids produced by Purdue Pharma.
In a complaint, several attorneys general alleged Publicis marketed OxyContin by saying it “was safe and prevented abuse." The complaint also accuses the marketing company of promoting the use of "dangerous doses, increasing the likelihood of addiction."
According to Weiser, more than 9,600 Coloradans have died from prescription opioid overdoses since 2000.
"I've heard from so many families — families who lost wives, families who lost parents, families who lost kids, people who lost friends," said Weiser. "More people died from the opioid crisis in the last two years on record than ever before. This crisis started in the boardroom. It started with Purdue Pharma, and Publicis was the marketing arm."
Weiser said money from the settlement will help address the state's opioid crisis. So far, Colorado has received more than $750 million in legal settlements related to the crisis.