Purdue Pharma stops marketing opioids to doctors

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STAMFORD, CT: Purdue Pharma, maker of painkiller OxyContin, will no longer promote its opioid drugs to doctors.

The pharma company also laid off half of its sales staff, according to reports. The remaining sales employees will no longer visit doctors' offices to discuss its opioid drugs.

“We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

A representative from Purdue did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Purdue manufactures three prescription painkillers: OxyContin, Butrans, and Hysingla. The company has been hit with several lawsuits related to the opioid epidemic. The latest lawsuit, filed by Alabama last week, claimed the pharma company deceptively marketed prescription opioids.

New York City filed a similar lawsuit in January seeking $500 million in damages. Over the past year, Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington have all filed lawsuits against the company in response to the opioid epidemic.

Last April, Purdue hired Josephine Martin, formerly EVP of public affairs at PhRMA, as VP of corporate affairs and communications.
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