Friday, 25 May, 2018

OxyContin Maker Cuts Sales Force

Purdue Pharma says it will stop promoting opioids to doctors	 	 	 			File image Purdue Pharma says it will stop promoting opioids to doctors File image
Ben Pena | 11 February, 2018, 22:34

Purdue Pharma has total revenue of about $3 billion, with perhaps a third of the total coming from painkiller OxyContin. "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".

"We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers", the Stamford, Connecticut-based company said in a statement.

"It is hard to promote more cautious prescribing to the medical community because opioid manufacturers promote opioid use", he said.

"Effective Monday, February 12, 2018, our field sales organization will no longer be visiting your offices to engage you in discussions about our opioid products", Kwarcinski said in the letter, which was released to media outlets. The remaining 200 sales reps will focus on non-opioid drugs such as Symproic, the company said.

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In a surprise reversal, the maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin said Saturday that it will stop promoting opioid drugs to doctors. The lawsuits say drugmakers misled doctors and patients about the risks of opioids by enlisting "front groups" and "key opinion leaders" who oversold the drugs' benefits and encouraged overprescribing.

The company said it has consistently followed opioid guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, which include a recommendation that opioids not be the first option for chronic pain.

Purdue has been sued by many state attorneys general as part of the battle against opioids that has accelerated in the last two years since the DEA and CDC have ratcheted up regulatory pressure on the prescription and supply of opioids. The drugmaker is fighting hundreds of lawsuits accusing it of using deceptive methods to sell the addictive painkiller.

Purdue has denied the allegations, stating that its drugs are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and account for only 2 percent of all opioid prescriptions. The company in 2007 paid out $600 million to settle civil and criminal charges related to the drug's marketing, with three company executives agreeing to pay an additional $34.5 million. 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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