OxyContin maker Purdue cuts sales team, won't market opioids

by Noah Mcgee February 12, 2018, 0:40
OxyContin maker Purdue cuts sales team, won't market opioids

Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin, said on Saturday it will stop marketing opioid drugs to physicians following a slew of lawsuits against the company over the opioid epidemic, The Hill reports. As the country continues to battle with an opioid epidemic, one of the largest producers of prescription opioids has made an important marketing decision that may potentially impact the war on addictive drugs.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Purdue will continue selling the drug, but will no longer send salespeople to doctors' offices to promote it. Purdue will cut its USA sales staff by more than half.

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty in 2007 to felony charges for false marketing of OxyContin and paid $635 million as a result. "Requests for information about our opioid products will be handled through direct communication with the highly experienced health care professionals that comprise our Medical Affairs department".

Its sales representatives will now focus on Symproic, a drug for treating opioid-induced constipation, and other potential non-opioid products, Purdue said.

Purdue's sales representatives will now focus on the Symproic drug created to treat opioid-induced constipation, and other non-opioid products.

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Alabama last Tuesday became the latest state to file a lawsuit accusing the private CT company of fueling the USA epidemic by misrepresenting the risks and benefits of opioids. It generated billions in sales for privately-held Purdue.

The government pressure on opioid prescribing is having a profound effect. The CDC says more than three out of five drug overdose deaths involve opioids - and that annual deaths from heroin and prescription opioids have increased more than five-fold since 1999, including 42,000 deaths in 2016.

"We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis, and we are dedicated to being part of the solution", the company said.

Purdue's promotions exaggerated the drug's safety and risks of addiction, leading to lawsuits and federal investigations.

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