New Hampshire will spend $100,000 to hire a law firm to investigate whether drug makers have marketed opioids in a deceptive fashion. New Hampshire's Executive Council voted unanimously to allow the Attorney General's office to hire the Washington law firm of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll.
Attorney General Joe Foster had originally tried to hire the firm last year, using a contingency fee contract. Drug makers blocked the move in court when a judge ruled Foster had exceeded his authority by acting without approval of the legislature or the council.
Foster told the council this contract is simply calls for an investigation, and doesn't presume the state will necessarily end up suing any drug companies.
"The intent of this is to commence an investigation, not a lawsuit, to see whether they are mis-marketing their products to say things like they are not addictive, because they are long acting. We want to look at those sorts of marketing practices to see whether thy are going on in the state of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire isn't the first state to take a look at how drug makers market opioids. Earlier this year New York reached a settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals over the company's marketing of the the pain medication Opana.