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giftedviz.com February 25, 2018


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

12 February 2018, 12:27 | Rodolfo Wallace

Report: OxyContin Maker to Stop Marketing Opioid Products to Physicians

Whose Fault Is the Opioid Crisis?

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.

"We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers", the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said in a statement.

The company said it is reducing its sales staff by more than half, and that its remaining salespeople will no longer visit doctor's offices to push their product. Doctors with questions about opioids will be directed to the company's medical affairs department. 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.

"The genie is already out of the bottle", said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University and an advocate for stronger regulation of opioid drug companies. "But if other opioid manufacturers would do the same, it would have a bigger effect". The decision comes as the drug maker continues to face criticism for marketing addictive painkillers. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Purdue of deceptively marketing prescription opioids.

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

"We manufacture prescription opioids", reads one of the ads.

Purdue first introduced Oxycontin in 1985.

That year, Purdue also reached a $19.5-million settlement with 26 states and the District of Columbia. He has yet to declare it a national emergency as he pledged to do in August following a recommendation by a presidential commission.



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