OxyContin maker stops promoting opioids, cuts sales staff

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP said on Saturday that will the item has cut its sales force in half along with will stop promoting opioids to physicians, following widespread criticism of the ways that will drugmakers market addictive painkillers.

The drugmaker said the item will inform doctors on Monday that will its sales representatives will no longer visit physician offices to discuss its opioid products. the item will currently have about 0 sales representatives, Purdue said.

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

Doctors with opioid-related questions will be directed to its medical affairs department. Its sales representatives will currently focus on Symproic, a drug for treating opioid-induced constipation, along with various other potential non-opioid products, Purdue said.

Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control along with Prevention.

Among various other opioid producers, Endo International Plc agreed in July to pull its Opana ER painkiller after the Food along with Drug Administration called for its withdrawal.

Purdue along with various other drugmakers have been fighting lawsuits by states, counties along with cities that will have accused them of pushing addictive painkillers through deceptive marketing.

The lawsuits have generally accused Purdue of downplaying OxyContin’s addiction risk along with of misleading marketing that will overstated the benefits of opioids for treating chronic, rather than short-term, pain.

At least 14 states have sued privately held Purdue. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Purdue of deceptively marketing prescription opioids.

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