Oxycontin Maker Purdue Pharma To Stop Agressive Marketing Of Opioids

End of an era: Purdue to stop marketing opioids to doctors

Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, said it would no longer actively market opioid products - a major about-face for a company increasingly viewed as a principal culprit in the country's addiction and overdose crisis.

Purdue has been sued by many state attorneys general as part of the battle against opioids that has accelerated in the last two years since the DEA and CDC have ratcheted up regulatory pressure on the prescription and supply of opioids. But she warned that tightening the prescription supply already has illegal drug dealers turning out more pills that look like branded prescription meds but can be even more risky.

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

Its sales representatives will now focus on Symproic, a drug for treating opioid-induced constipation, and other potential non-opioid products, Purdue said. Physicians who have opioid-related questions will be directed to Purdue's medical affairs department.

Alabama last Tuesday became the latest state to file a lawsuit accusing the private CT company of fueling the US epidemic by misrepresenting the risks and benefits of opioids.


Purdue's sales representatives will now focus on the Symproic drug created to treat opioid-induced constipation, and other non-opioid products. Accordingly, the company has laid off more than 50 percent of its sales force, with the remaining employees focusing on non-opioid products.

On its website, Purdue-which is a privately held company-is positioning itself as still wanting to be a player in pain management going forward.

The government claims the results have been tragic - and left government agencies with millions in social and health care costs.

A surge in prescriptions of opioids followed the 1995 release of the drug when about 90 million opioid prescriptions were filled.

Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It later acknowledged that its promotions exaggerated the safety of the drug and minimized its risk for addiction.

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