Opioid Maker Says It Won't Market In Doctors' Offices Anymore

Opioid Maker Says It Won't Market In Doctors' Offices Anymore

Opioid Maker Says It Won't Market In Doctors' Offices Anymore

Purdue Pharma has total revenue of about $3 billion, with perhaps a third of the total coming from painkiller OxyContin.

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

Opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 40 percent of those deaths involved a prescription opioid.

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 US sales staff by more than half.

The maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin said it will stop marketing opioid drugs to doctors.

Doctors who want information on opioids will now need to contact the company's medical affairs department. OxyContin is the nation's top-selling opioid painkiller. Its sales representatives will now focus on Symproic, a drug for treating opioid-induced constipation, and other potential non-opioid products, Purdue said.

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.

Purdue and three former executives pleaded guilty in federal court a decade ago to criminal charges of misleading the public about the addictive nature of OxyContin, paying more than $630 million in fines and penalties.

"We would have more success in encouraging cautious prescribing if drug companies stopped promoting aggressive prescribing", he told the Times. Other lawsuits remain, and a key demand in the remaining lawsuits was that Purdue Pharma drop its direct marketing efforts for pain medications.

Purdue first introduced Oxycontin in 1985.

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

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