Purdue Pharma will no longer target USA doctors in its efforts to sell OxyContin, a prescription opioid whose overprescription fueled America's opioid crisis - and made billions for Purdue's founding family. 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.
The Connecticut-based drugmaker said that it has already reduced its sales representative to 200 and has restructured its commercial operation.The drug company said that its sales representatives will longer visit doctors' offices to promote the company's opioid products.
Doctors who want information on opioids will now need to contact the company's medical affairs department.
Purdue's sales representatives will now focus on the Symproic drug created to treat opioid-induced constipation, and other non-opioid products.
Amid the opioid epidemic, Purdue and other drugmakers have been fighting a wave of lawsuits by states, counties and cities that have accused them of pushing addictive painkillers through deceptive marketing. Symproic is used to treat opioid-related constipation.More news: Two of the ISIS executioner 'Beatles' captured in Syria
"We would have more success in encouraging cautious prescribing if drug companies stopped promoting aggressive prescribing", he told the Times.
Alabama last Tuesday became the latest state to file a lawsuit accusing the private CT company of fueling the US epidemic by misrepresenting the risks and benefits of opioids.
Growing awareness of Purdue's handling of OxyContin has also recently attracted scrutiny of the Sacklers, the family that controls the privately held firm.
Although initially driven by prescription drugs, most opioid deaths now involve illicit drugs, including heroin and fentanyl. "We are committed to being part of the solution by partnering with local law enforcement, state and local government agencies, and community groups across the country".
Purdue's promotions exaggerated the drug's safety and risks of addiction, leading to lawsuits and federal investigations.