OxyContin maker Purdue will no longer market opioid drugs to doctors

OxyContin maker Purdue will no longer market opioid drugs to doctors

OxyContin maker Purdue will no longer market opioid drugs to doctors

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", Purdue said in a statement.

Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Purdue Pharma, which manufactures a range of pain medications such as OxyContin, announced yesterday that it would no longer promote opioid drugs to physicians, and has laid off more than 50 percent of its sales force.

The lawsuits have generally accused Purdue of downplaying OxyContin's addiction risk and of misleading marketing that overstated the benefits of opioids for treating chronic, rather than short-term, pain. The decision comes as the drug maker continues to face criticism for marketing addictive painkillers. "Requests for information about our opioid products will be handled through direct communication with the highly experienced health care professionals that comprise our Medical Affairs department". Its sales representatives will now focus on Symproic, a drug for treating opioid-induced constipation, and other potential non-opioid products, Purdue said. Sales of OxyContin and other opioids have fallen recently amid pressure from regulators, insurers, and the general public.

Purdue's sales representatives will now focus on the Symproic drug created to treat opioid-induced constipation, and other non-opioid products.

At least 14 states have sued Purdue, and many cities including Greenfield and Springfield in Western Massachusetts. 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.

Purdue has denied the allegations in the various lawsuits.

Purdue first introduced Oxycontin in 1985. Costs of opioid addiction to the US economy have been estimated to be as high as $78.5 billion.

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