Purdue Pharma will stop promoting its opioid drugs to doctors

Glen Mclaughlin
February 12, 2018

Now comes word that Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, is no longer actively marketing opioid products.

"We would have more success in encouraging cautious prescribing if drug companies stopped promoting aggressive prescribing", he told the Times. 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 unsafe.

In 2007, Purdue Pharma and three of its executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misrepresenting their product's addictiveness, and paid a total of $635 million in fines. The peak year for opioid prescriptions was 2011 when 220 million prescriptions were filled.

Purdue and other opioid drugmakers and pharmaceutical distributors continue defending themselves against hundreds of local and state lawsuits seeking to hold the industry accountable for the drug overdose epidemic. Instead, any questions doctors have will be directed to the Stamford, Conn. -based company's medical affairs department. Accordingly, the company has laid off more than 50 percent of its sales force, with the remaining employees focusing on non-opioid products. Purdue officials confirmed in November that they were in settlement talks with a group of state attorneys general and trying to come up with a global resolution of the government opioid claims.

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"We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers", Purdue said in a statement.

Opioids, though, were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the most recent figures suggest that 145 Americans now die every day from overdoses.

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

Eventually, Purdue acknowledged that its promotions exaggerated the drug's safety and minimized the risks of addiction.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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