NJ county sues OxyContin maker, alleges racketeering

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey county has sued the company that manufactures OxyContin, claiming they executed a scheme to trick doctors into believing opioids could be prescribed for lengthy periods of time with little risk of addiction.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Camden County also names members of the family that owns Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma, along with several other drugmakers, distributors and retailers.

The suit accuses the defendants of racketeering in marketing and distributing prescription painkillers, claiming the scheme resulted in billions of dollars for them while leaving millions of people addicted to opioids. It cites the "staggering costs and a loss of resources" the county has incurred in attempting to curb the opioid epidemic.

Purdue Pharma did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment on the litigation, which seeks undisclosed damages.