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Connecticut AG Vows Oxycontin Investigation

Jan 7, 2004 | AP

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's attorney general, said Tuesday he will ask other states to join in investigating whether the maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin blocked the development of cheaper generic alternatives.

The planned antitrust probe came a day after a federal judge found that Stamford-based Purdue Pharma's patents protecting its painkiller were invalid because the company deliberately misled the U.S. Patent Office.

Purdue Pharma also was hit with a federal lawsuit in New Haven Tuesday alleging violations of antitrust laws. The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed by the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and others and alleges the company unlawfully obtained and enforced a monopoly for OxyContin through misrepresentations to the Patent Office, forcing users of the painkiller to pay higher prices.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Monday's ruling offers strong evidence that the company may have deprived consumers of more affordable alternatives.

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