Opioid maker backs off aggressive marketing amid lawsuits

Source: CBS News

NEW YORK — Monday marked a change of culture for Purdue Pharma, the drug company that makes OxyContin and other opioids. The company will no longer market those drugs to doctors and is laying off half its sales force.   

After years of marketing testimonial videos and handing doctor’s pamphlets claiming only about 1 percent of opioid users become addicted, Purdue Pharma — the nation’s largest opioid manufacturer — now says it will back off aggressive marketing techniques, no longer sending sales representatives to doctors offices to push opioids.

While these techniques helped opioid sales spike in the last two decades, so too did the number of opioid overdose deaths. In 1999, there were 4,000 deaths, a number that spiked to 32,000 in 2016 — an increase of more than 700 percent. OxyContin, the brand name version of the

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