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Purdue no longer promoting OxyContin® to doctors

Optum Workers' Comp
| Feb 13, 2018

Purdue Pharma LP announced it will no longer actively promote OxyContin® to doctors. Following its launch in 1996, Purdue marketed the pain medication to doctors to prescribe for patients with pain. In workers’ compensation, OxyContin has been one of the most widely prescribed and highest ranked long-acting opioid analgesic in terms of medication spend in the past decade.

With sales of OxyContin falling, the manufacturer reports it will reduce its sales staff by more than a half and no longer promote the use of opioid analgesics. Instead, they will encourage prescribers to review guidelines and materials published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. surgeon general and continue to fight against the prescription and illicit opioid abuse crisis. Purdue plans on sending letters to prescribers this week informing them they will no longer be sending sales representatives to their offices and clinics. Given the decline in opioid analgesic prescribing in the past few years and this directive by Purdue, we expect to continue to see a declining utilization of OxyContin throughout this upcoming year. 

OxyContin (oxycodone extended-release) is a long-acting opioid analgesic indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.

For more on this news, please refer to the following sources.


  1. Bloomberg Markets. Pain Pill Giant Purdue to Stop Promotion of Opioids to Doctors. February 9, 2018. Available at
  2. STAT. Pharma. End of an era: Purdue to stop marketing opioids to doctors. February 10, 2018. Available at

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