TRENTON — New Jersey is suing the company that manufactures OxyContin, claiming a "direct link" between the state's opioid crisis and the firm's deceptive marketing practices.

State Attorney General Christopher Porrino says the five-count lawsuit against Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma and two of its entities was filed Tuesday. It seeks undisclosed monetary damages for fraud and false claims.

Purdue Pharma issued a statement saying it "vigorously denies" the allegations.

The state claims Purdue exploited vulnerable new markets, including the elderly and the "opioid-naïve," to boost profits. It claims Purdue aggressively marketed opioids and duped doctors and the public into believing they should be the primary treatment option for chronic conditions like arthritis and migraines.

More than two dozen states, cities and counties have sued the pharmaceutical companies.

New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie, chairs President Donald Trump's commission on opioids.
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