Purdue Pharma is reportedly looking for an advertising agency partner in a newly released RFP, even as the company is dogged by hundreds of lawsuits nationwide.
The company’s RFP, first reported by Adweek, is seeking a creative agency to promote a not-yet-released product. Emails obtained by the magazine said the product would be launched in the first quarter of 2019.
A Purdue spokesperson said the company is “not seeking an ad agency for our prescription opioids, and we have no plans to do direct-to-consumer advertising for Adhansia XR,” Purdue’s recently approved ADHD medication. Advertising for Adhansia XR, the spokesperson added, will be focused on “the professional community.”
Purdue has other products nearing launch. One is an insomnia treatment for which the company submitted a new drug application in January. Another is an opioid-overdose treatment that received a fast-track designation from the FDA.
Alongside painkillers like OxyContin and hydrocodone, Purdue also makes laxatives, antiseptics, and dietary supplements.
Last month, Purdue reached its first settlement in an opioid-related lawsuit. The company agreed to pay $270 million in a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma’s attorney general accusing the company of deceptive marketing of its opioid products.
Purdue has been named in more than 1,600 lawsuits in the U.S. brought by states, cities, and federal prosecutors. Many claim that Purdue used deceptive marketing to downplay the risks of opioids like OxyContin, a factor that the cases say contributed to the opioid crisis.
The company was reportedly considering bankruptcy to control liabilities from these lawsuits.