Opioid Crisis causes Purdue to stop marketing OxyContin to Prescribers
The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdose. These opioids include OxyContin made by Purdue Pharmaceuticals. In response to the growing crisis that is affecting nearly every sector of the population, Purdue announced that it will no longer be marketing to doctors. The company has reduced its sales team and is restructuring their focus from direct, in-person marketing to physicians to helping to combat the crisis.
How Prescription Pain Pills became a leading cause of death in America
Opioid overdose is nothing new. Opioids include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Hydrocodone, but also include opiates such as morphine and heroin. Overdose from opiates has happened throughout time, but the huge increase over the last two decades can be directly related to the increase in sales of prescription pain killers. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that 40% of all opioid overdoses were due to prescription opioids. The overall number of deaths from opioid overdoses increased five times since 1999. Doctors were told that the prescription pain killers being given to patients were not addictive. Aggressive, direct-marketing to doctors by pharma giants Purdue and others, led to a large increase in prescriptions and, in turn, a large increase in the number of patients who became addicted to these substances.
Documents from cases settled regarding the misleading information distributed by sales representatives for the pain killers indicates that employees were told to minimize the addictive quality of the drugs. Major sales tactics began almost immediately after the US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in 1996. Sales of the drugs quickly drew into the billions for pharmaceutical giants manufacturing the drugs.
Future Problems for Prescription Pain Killers
The opioid epidemic has affected millions of people all across the United States. It has captured national headlines and gotten the attention of local representatives as well as politicians across the nation. Pressure is mounting against pain killer manufacturers that misled doctors and consumers about the addictive quality of the drugs and presented information that was not backed by scientific data. Purdue has already paid out millions. In 2007, the company entered a guilty plea for “misbranding” the drug. The company took an uncompromising approach to selling OxyContin directly to physicians claiming that the time-release feature of the drug would prevent misuse of the drug and reduced the potential for addiction. 
Government agencies, consumers and others have begun filing lawsuits against opioid manufacturers. A federal judge overseeing more than 200 lawsuits regarding the epidemic urged the focus to be to “dramatically reduce the number of opioids that are being disseminated, manufactured and distributed.”  Purdue in a complete reversal has agreed to join these efforts by stopping the promotion of OxyContin to doctors and find ways to fight misuse and overdosing.
Are you an attorney interested in representing individuals afflicted by the opioid crisis? Now is the time to get involved. Opioid litigation is heating up and too many individuals have suffered at the hand of drug manufacturers and distributors. Amicus Media Group can help you acquire cases with comprehensive media campaigns. We work with digital marketing campaigns, TV and radio ads to help you get the cases you deserve. Contact us for more information today.
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