Thursday, 16 August, 2018

OxyContin maker cuts sales staff, won't hawk drug to docs

Oxycontin bottle on pharmacy shelf Opioid epidemic demands bold action Oxycontin bottle on pharmacy shelf
Johnnie Parks | 12 February, 2018, 00:33

Purdue, which has reportedly generated approximately $35 billion dollars in revenue, in a statement said it had "restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers".

Up to one in four people who received prescriptions for opioid drugs such as OxyContin struggle with opioid addiction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

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 drug-maker said it will inform doctors on Monday and that sales reps will no longer be visiting physician offices to discuss opioid products.

Purdue's head of medical affairs, Monica Kwarcinski, said the company also plans to run all questions through its medical affairs department as part of its efforts to support "responsible" opioid use.

Gilead Sciences Tops Fourth-Quarter Sales, Earnings Views
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Catastrophe star Rob Delaney's son dies of cancer at age 2
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This means that a short term shutdown of just a few hours could be over by the time government workers wake up Friday morning. The House passed a bill Tuesday to fund the government through March 23, along with a full year of funding for the Pentagon.


The FDA even approved a package insert for OxyContin, announcing the drug was safer than rival painkillers because the delayed-absorption mechanism was "believed to reduce the abuse liability". The company has been unable to develop or buy a drug to replace OxyContin's sales.

He said Purdue's decision is helpful, but it won't make a major difference unless other opioid drug companies do the same. "Millions of Americans are now opioid-addicted because the campaign that Purdue and other opioid manufacturers used to increase prescribing worked well".

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty in 2007 to felony charges for false marketing of OxyContin and paid $635 million as a result. It later acknowledged that its promotions exaggerated the safety of the drug and minimized its risk for addiction.

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 has denied the allegations in the various lawsuits.

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