Oxycontin maker to stop promoting drugs to doctors - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Oxycontin maker to stop promoting drugs to doctors

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
STAMFORD, CT (AP) -

There’s an important development in the fight against opioid addiction.

Purdue Pharma, based in Stamford, has agreed not to market its opioids to doctors.

It’s a major change for a company that paid more than $600 million in fines for claiming the drug was less addictive.

This is an important step, as other drug companies have agreed to do the same, but not all.

"It takes hold of someone's brain. It's like this evil has taken charge of the controls,” said Dr. Craig Allen, of the Rushford Center.

Allen is very familiar with the opioid crisis. He helps people get off these drugs and into recovery.

He's encouraged to hear Stamford based Purdue Pharma, one of the largest suppliers of "Oxycontin," will no longer promote these powerful painkillers to doctors.

"I would love for Purdue Pharma and these other drug companies to follow me around. Just one day, give me one day and I will show you what you have done to the people of Ohio,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine.

He filed lawsuits against several pharmaceutical companies, including Purdue for deceptive marketing.

Purdue denies the allegations but has paid hundreds of millions in fines.

Sue Kruczek, a Connecticut mother whose son died from an overdose, has shared her story with Channel 3.

Nick was a hockey star and died at 20. She wrote a letter to President Donald Trump and got his attention. In a tweet, the president said “Thank you to Sue Kruczek, who lost her wonderful and talented son Nick to the Opioid scourge, for your kind words while on @foxandfriends. We are fighting this terrible epidemic hard - Nick will not have died in vain!”

In his 2019 budget plan, Trump is proposing to spend $17 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.

As for Purdue’s decision to stop marketing, Allen he calls it an important first step.

"This is a drop in the bucket. There is so much that needs to be done...with education,” Allen said.

Allen says we must educate parents, teachers, and coaches to really handle this crisis from the ground up.

Last year, 1,100 people in Connecticut died from opioid related deaths, up 20 percent from the year before.

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