Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, says that it will no longer be promoting the drug to doctors.
According to Purdue Pharma, its decision concerning OxyContin will also have it cutting its sales force in half as it stops pushing the drug. This will leave it with 200 employees working in sales and none will promote the drug.
As a result of these changes, doctors and others that prescribe drugs will have to call Purdue Pharma to obtain information about OxyContin. There also won’t be sales representatives showing up at doctors’ offices to promote the drug.
Purdue Pharma’s decision to cut support from OxyContin comes as states look to take action against opioid makers. Use of the drug in the U.S. has spread and with it has abusers. Data from the CDC in 2016 says that opioids were the cause of 42,000 overdose deaths during that year, reports Business Insider.
Purdue Pharma is denying any claims that it is responsible for the current opioid epidemic. It notes that OxyContin only makes up 2% of all opioid prescriptions in the U.S. The company also argues that its drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The spotlight on opioid makers comes after a recent investigation from 60 Minutes. The report includes interviews with former members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. They claim that opioid makers wouldn’t report suspicious amounts of orders for the drugs. The investigation specifically targeted McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK), which saw its stock drop when the report came out.
As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.