Medicine

OxyContin maker will stop promoting opioids to doctors

OxyContin maker will stop promoting opioids to doctors

Now comes word that Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, is no longer actively marketing opioid products.

OxyContin has always been the world's top-selling opioid painkiller and generated billions in sales for privately-held Purdue.

The US drugmaker said it will inform doctors on Monday that its sales representatives will no longer be visiting doctors' offices to discuss its opioid products.

Doctors with opioid-related questions will be directed to its 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.

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.

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We were the first company to introduce an opioid pain medication with abuse-deterrent properties and labeling claims, and we are investing in research to develop non-opioid pain medications.

Purdue's sales representatives will now focus on the Symproic drug created to treat opioid-induced constipation, and other non-opioid products. Purdue sold the drug by trying to convince Doctors that previous concerns regarding opioid addiction and abuse had been overdone and resulted in patient pain and discomfort that could have been effectively treated. Purdue officials confirmed in November that they were in settlement talks with a group of state attorneys general and trying to come up with a global resolution of the government opioid claims.

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

A surge in prescriptions of opioids followed the 1995 release of the drug when about 90 million opioid prescriptions were filled.

Although initially driven by prescription drugs, most opioid deaths now involve illicit drugs, including heroin and fentanyl.