Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Maker of Oxycontin to cease marketing efforts to doctors

Maker of Oxycontin to cease marketing efforts to doctors

Purdue Pharma, the drug company behind Oxycontin, said on Saturday that it will stop promoting opioids to physicians and has, in fact, halved its sales force.

Indra Cidambi, medical director at the Center for Network Therapy detox program in New Jersey, said she was encouraged by Purdue's announcement.

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"We would have more success in encouraging cautious prescribing if drug companies stopped promoting aggressive prescribing", he told the Times. When regulators and lawmakers finally cracked down on growing prescription drug abuse, millions already addicted began turning to cheaper heroin.

Doctors who want information on opioids will now need to contact the company's medical affairs department. Symproic is used to treat opioid-related constipation. 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.

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At least 14 states have sued Purdue, and many cities including Greenfield and Springfield in Western Massachusetts. The company continues to be the largest seller of prescription painkillers in the United States, and also has a prescription sleep aid line of drugs and over-counter-products.

Purdue said in a statement that it "vigorously denies" allegations of misconduct, adding that its products account for only "approximately 2%" of all opioid prescriptions. Instead, the company said it will direct prescribers to materials published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the office of the USA surgeon general.

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"We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis, and we are dedicated to being part of the solution", the company said. Officials in Tennessee, which filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma Sept. 29, claim the company's tactics served as a model for other major drug makers to do the same thing.

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