Bottles of Purdue Pharma L.P. OxyContin medication sit on a pharmacy shelf in Provo, Utah, in 2016. George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The maker of OxyContin, one of the most prescribed and aggressively marketed opioid painkillers, will no longer tout the drug or any other opioids to doctors.
The announcement, made Saturday, came as drugmaker Purdue Pharma faces a lawsuit for deceptive marketing brought by cities and counties across the U.S., including several in Maine. The company said it’s cutting its U.S. sales force by more than half.
Just how important are these steps against the backdrop of a raging opioid epidemic that took the lives of more than 300 Maine residents in 2016, and accounted for more than 42,000 deaths nationwide?
“They’re 20 years late to the game,”