OxyContin maker will stop promoting opioids to doctors

Kristoffer Tripplaar via NBC News

Purdue Pharma, makers of the prescription drug OxyContin, announced it is decreasing its sales staff and will no longer market opioid drugs to doctors.

Most recently, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Purdue of deceptively marketing prescription opioids to generate billions of dollars in sales. Instead, any questions doctors have will be directed to the Stamford, Conn. -based company's medical affairs department.

He said Purdue's decision is helpful, but it won't make a major difference unless other opioid drug companies do the same.

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 lawsuits have generally accused Purdue of significantly downplaying the risk of addiction posed by OxyContin and of engaging in misleading marketing that overstated the benefits of opioids for treating chronic, rather than short-term, pain. The remaining 200 sales positions will focus their efforts on the drugmaker's non-opioid products. The FDA approved OxyContin in 1995, and the drug was hailed as a medical breakthrough because of its ability to help patients suffering from moderate to severe pain.

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 US surgeon general.

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

On its website, Purdue-which is a privately held company-is positioning itself as still wanting to be a player in pain management going forward. Many of those overdoses are attributed to other opioids, including fentanyl and heroin, which OxyContin users often switch to after becoming addicted to the painkiller.

Related News:

  • South Korea's Leader Invited to North Korea

    South Korea's Leader Invited to North Korea

    Later, he skipped a formal dinner at which he was due to share a table with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam. But privately, officials said, Pence expressed concern to Moon about his more conciliatory tone toward North Korea.

    Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE:BDN) Moves -7.76%

    It is positive, as 42 investors sold EXPE shares while 152 reduced holdings. 104 funds opened positions while 328 raised stakes. Swiss Bank accumulated 890,378 shares. 149.96 million shares or 1.10% less from 151.63 million shares in 2017Q2 were reported.
    AutoExpo2018: Lohia Auto launches electric three-wheeler Comfort E Auto

    AutoExpo2018: Lohia Auto launches electric three-wheeler Comfort E Auto

    Meanwhile, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India unveiled a total of 11 two-wheelers, including a new 160 cc motorcycle, "X-Blade". It also showcased the "45X concept" the premium hatchback based on the versatile "Agile Light Flexible Advanced" Architecture.
  • Grand Canyon helicopter crash leaves 3 people dead, others injured

    Grand Canyon helicopter crash leaves 3 people dead, others injured

    KLAS reports "rugged, windy conditions have made it impossible to get four trauma victims out" per the Hualapai Police Chief. The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
    Two Ohio police killed while responding to emergency call

    Two Ohio police killed while responding to emergency call

    Morelli had served on the force for 29 years, while Joering had been with Westerville police for 16 years. Officer Morelli was recognized in 2012 as the Westerville Division of Police Officer of the Year.
    Wall Street plummets; S&P, Dow confirm correction

    Wall Street plummets; S&P, Dow confirm correction

    The stock market has also been upended by an unwinding of a popular trade that relied on market volatility to remain calm. The benchmark S&P 500 lost 100 pints, or 3.75%, while the tech heavy Nasdaq lost 274 points, or 3.9%.
  • Major League Baseball free agent rumors: Cubs, Yu Darvish agree to six-year deal

    The right-hander made 31 starts past year between the Rangers and Dodgers, pitching to a 3.86 ERA with a near-identical 3.83 FIP. They removed sentiment from the equation by choosing Darvish over Jake Arrieta , a key figure in the transformation of the Cubs.
    VLC 3.0 released: Chromecast, 8K, HDR, Android PiP, iPhone X optimization

    VLC 3.0 released: Chromecast, 8K, HDR, Android PiP, iPhone X optimization

    Other major added features include 3D audio support, audio passthrough for HD audio codecs, and support for browsing NAS drives. Then: Open VLC, select Playback Renderer and select your Chromecast device from the list of available options.

    Isaiah Thomas 'Not Coming Off the Bench' for Lakers

    The Lakers said a week and a half ago that the sprained MCL injury typically would take one to three weeks of recovery time. For the season, the former UCLA standout is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.
  • Chris Mazdzer wins USA's first-ever male singles luge medal

    Chris Mazdzer wins USA's first-ever male singles luge medal

    He was all set to create history ahead of his final run, as his medal rivals promised little. The medal is the United States's sixth all time in luge and second in singles.
    High-flying snowboard crew poised to deliver Canada's 1st medal of Games

    High-flying snowboard crew poised to deliver Canada's 1st medal of Games

    Parrot and Toutant both called out Shaun White for dropping out of slopestyle in Sochi, saying he was ducking the competition. Just 11 months before the Olympics , the Canadian began battling his way back from life-threatening injuries.
    West Ham v Watford: Hornets can add to Hammers' problems

    West Ham v Watford: Hornets can add to Hammers' problems

    David Moyes has claimed that he did not expect to steer West Ham United to the brink of the top 10 of the Premier League table . David Moyes is unbeaten in his four home league matches against Watford , winning three and drawing the other.


Most liked

Michigan State a No. 3 seed in midseason NCAA Tournament bracket reveal
If Clemson (20-4, 9-3) can secure a No. 3 seed or better it would mark the highest seed ever for the Tigers. The Kansas Jayhawks have been projected to receive a No. 2 seed by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

Pence's bid to isolate North Korea falls flat
That said, these officials said that if the North Koreans had approached Pence with pleasantries, he would have responded in kind. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach then handed the podium to Moon, who declared the Olympics officially open.

Met Office issues new weather warning for snow and ice in Aberdeen
However, persistent or heavy rain will spread from the west through the late afternoon and evening. On Sunday night, wintry showers will continue with accumulations of snow in places.

#MeToo CA Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia Accused of Sexual Harassment
She said that the stories underscore how "sexual harassment is not OK, period-regardless of whether it's by a man, or a woman". He in turn took the allegations to Assembly leaders, who have since launched an investigation.