Thursday, 22 August, 2019


Purdue Pharma announces it will no longer market opioids to doctors

Oxycontin bottle on pharmacy shelf Opioid epidemic demands bold action Oxycontin bottle on pharmacy shelf
Patty Aguilar | 11 February, 2018, 09:38

Privately held drug company Purdue Pharma LP said it would stop promoting OxyContin and other opioids to doctors, 22 years after the painkiller linked to widespread addiction hit the US market.

The drugmaker said it will inform doctors on Monday that its sales representatives will no longer visit physician offices to discuss its opioid products.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in a federal court that Purdue misrepresented the risks and benefits of opioids, enabling the widespread prescribing of the drugs for chronic pain conditions.

OxyContin has always been the world's top-selling opioid painkiller, bringing in billions in sales for privately-held Purdue, which also sells a newer and longer-lasting opioid drug called Hysingla.

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

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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that opioids were involved in more than 42,000 deaths in 2016. In 2010 Purdue reformulated OxyContin to make it harder to crush and stopped selling the original form of the drug.

A group of state attorneys general have been conducting a multistate investigation into whether companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids engaged in unlawful practices.

Purdue Pharma denies allegations of complicity in the opioid epidemic and says it is committed to curbing rates of opioid abuse.

U.S. President Donald Trump has drawn criticism for his response to the opioid crisis.

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