OxyContin maker says it will stop promoting drug to doctors amid opioid epidemic

The maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin said it will stop marketing opioid drugs to doctors, bowing to a key demand of lawsuits that blame the company for helping trigger the current drug abuse epidemic. Purdue’s statement said it eliminated more than half its sales staff this week and will no longer send sales representatives to doctors’ offices to discuss opioid drugs.

Its remaining sales staff of about 200 will focus on other medications.

The company announced its surprise reversal on Saturday.

OxyContin has long been the world’s top-selling opioid painkiller, bringing in billions in sales for privately-held Purdue, which also sells a newer and longer-lasting opioid drug called Hysingla.

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