Purdue Pharma: “We’re Not Going to See the Doctor”

Purdue Pharma: “We’re Not Going to See the Doctor”

By Ed Coghlan.

The government pressure on opioid prescribing is having a profound effect.

Now comes word that Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, is no longer actively marketing opioid products.

The company said it is reducing its sales staff by more than half, and that its remaining salespeople will no longer visit doctor’s offices to promote their product. Instead, the company said it will direct prescribers to materials published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the office of the U.S. surgeon general.

“We have restructured and significantly reduced our commercial operation and will no longer be promoting opioids to prescribers,” Purdue said in a statement.

On its website, Purdue—which is a privately held company—is positioning itself as still wanting to be a player in pain management going forward.

“Solving the crisis will take a broad set of stakeholders all doing their part to make a difference, Purdue included. We were the first company to introduce an opioid pain medication with abuse-deterrent properties and labeling claims, and we are investing in research to develop non-opioid pain medications. We are committed to being part of the solution by partnering with local law enforcement, state and local government agencies, and community groups across the country.”

Purdue has come under fire in recent years for the way it promoted its products to physicians—particularly family practice doctors. Sales of OxyContin and other opioids have fallen recently amid pressure from regulators, insurers, and the general public.

The company has been taking out full page ads in major newspapers.

“We manufacture prescription opioids,” reads one of the ads. “How could we not help fight the prescription and illicit opioid abuse crisis?”

Purdue has been sued by many state attorneys general as part of the battle against opioids that has accelerated in the last two years since the DEA and CDC have ratcheted up regulatory pressure on the prescription and supply of opioids.


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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Bonnie Collins

I think we are going about this the wrong way. Family members of pain patients or the patients if they can need to get into local and federal government to help make laws that will allow people with intractable pain, and chronic pain patients to get medication.


Yes why is it that no lawyer is jumping on this? 3 women in New Hampshire want to go topless at the beach. The ACLU is behind them and it’s a huge article in a Maine paper. LL Bean changes their return policy and within days there’s a huge lawsuit about that. Yet here we are 2 years later and nobody even mentions chronic pain.

Kimberly myers

Yes I agree we need a class action lawsuit. How do we go about getting legal representation for us the millions suffering because of the few illicit idiots. Abusers . Please direct me to the proper people, groups who can make a difference before it’s to late & we have more causalities from suicide

Nancy Anderson

I agree with what so many are saying in this article. There seems to be no “loud” representation for the 100 million people suffering from chronic pain. I am exhausted friom the media’s one-sided picture of the use of opioids. NBC, Lester Holt, Just reported a story the other night that was so “one-sided”, it was pathetic. I am a parent of a child who suffers from chronic pain. He has seen so many doctors for a diagnosis. Because it cannot be pinpointed, he hears it is “in his head”. Yet the Psychologist says it is real. He is treated like a criminal because he needs medication to function. Finding a doctor to prescribe the medication is becoming more and more difficult . Sending letters to our Representatives is not helping because they are turning a “deaf ear” to the patients who need pain medication. I agree with what others are saying. The only thing that is going to bring about change is a “Class Action” lawsuit. Please help us find Representation before it is too late for the 100 million people suffering.


Purdue was initially sued in 2007 for touting false info. re Oxycontin to prescribers.

Isn’t it timely that Purdue comes forth at this late juncture with a ploy and intent to make themselves look like fairy godmothers doing good deeds per their announcement? Fighting the “war on opiates” and now Purdue wants to help out?

With other state AG’s suing Purdue, should they be found guilty again within the courtroom, then they need to pay the piper.


We have a right to be treated for chronic pain and until they find something that works which could take them years they need to keep people from suffering.

Kimberly myers

Yes please find a firm to represent us the chronic pain community!!!! ASAP sign me up I will testify I have so much personal stories pain & still no relief in sight!!!! HELP us stop wasting resources on illicit drug activities .

Kimberly Myers

I understand completely!! But instead of us who are suffering from various painful diseases just writing we need to take action for inhuman practices that are now becoming the norm. Being chronic pain is not addressed at all ignorance is what doctors are practicing or referring us to more physical therapy , yoga , meditation. We have done all of that.!! We need legal representation from a reputable law firm with the courage & integrity to help chronic pain patients left on the road side to figure out how to manage as our life’s are being destroyed!!! Please help , please let us start a class action against all the institutions that feel they know what is best!!! Not all chronic pain patients have choices any longer my plea for help is a call for everyone!!!!

Michael Wilson

Something about this article bothers me…”Purdue has come under fire in recent years for the way it promoted its products to physicians—particularly family practice doctors. Sales of OxyContin and other opioids have fallen recently amid pressure from regulators, insurers, and the general public.”
Pressure from the “regulators”. These regulators seem to be placing undue pressure on Doctors, Pharmacist, Drug Companies and Drug Wholesalers.The DEA, FDA and the DOJ are taking the medical decisions away from our Doctors by making new policy on the treatment of Chronic Pain and a multitude of other chronic, sometimes incurable diseases such as Arachnoiditis!
I became privy to a message to my doctor from my insurance company. The message berated my Doctor because of the lack of progress in decreasing my opioid usage! This was not in an effort to save my life but, I can only surmise this was an effort to meet some kind of quota to save the company money not help me!
I could go on forever…

Derek Z

I can’t even access a pain management doctor with my Medicare part A , part b and now they won’t cover my meds since the first of the year they did this prior authorization and my current primary who was the only one doctor to actually check into my paperwork and I have kept immaculate records but he’s now beginning to succumb to the fear straight up told me he wished he hadn’t took me on as a new patient because he’s afraid…and I know I’m the only patient that he’s even treating with a high dosage of opioid medications that were increased over time and years gone by until it finally reached a level of being able to manage my pain even as my condition worsens …and when I ask him does he need to change my medication regiment when I’ve been actually stable for years and have it all documented by my pharmacy records that my prior primary and pain doctors had me on …and he wanted me to find a new pain specialist I went to over 25 Medicare approved new patient consultations …and none would look at all my paper trail of medical records documentation and outlined my conditions and treatment instead they only looked at what I was being prescribed in quantity from my printout from my pharmacy …and refused to take me on so now my primary doctor is like if u don’t like me reducing your meds then go to a specialist when he knows cus he made us keep immaculate records to protect himself just Incase the DEA came to him…which I said they would see that you actually honored your oath by treating me and it isn’t either of his or my fault that …these Medicare pain doctors refuse to take on new patients that are on high dosage of opioid medications ….my life is now in 24/7 pain and bedridden most days even with medication. Due to severity of my chronic constant pain caused by my health conditions and the illnesses and diseases I suffer from…. and one last thing ….THERE IS NO LAWYERS OR EVEN SOME SO CALLED ADVOCATES out there who supposedly were created to defend people like us the people who can’t defend themselves and even receive grants to pay for their non profits …like ACLU and Legal Aid and supposedly for Medicare recipients who are having problems with getting medications LIKE: SHIP ….they won’t listen and even will treat u as your the problem and sub human ….as if my life isn’t harsh and miserable enough …and I’m so tired of even telling my experience and having to plead my case when …I’ve already been approved for long term federal social security disability benefits from being verified that my conditions are debilitating and inability to take care of much self hence why I was approved for a caretaker for Ihss…..I thank the few and have a lot gratitude for the few people who really do advocate… Read more »


Yes we are dying an agonizingly painful death!! We don’t drain er or heroine clinics we have chronic diseases that are destroying our bodies & now your telling me to do yoga! I go Cleveland clinic 8 years 27 surgery RA cancer back issues hips falling apart now after being in control & able to function in now told yoga & physical therapy. Don’t you think I already do that! The meds keep me just above drowning in pain. Enough so I can live a normal life . By taking my meds you are treating me in humane undue stress . Some days I can’t even get out of bed! Why because of herion drug addicts & illicit use!!! Punish them, let them die . Don’t you punish all the innocent legitimate pain management patients. They choose herion they choose to bu off the streets they choose that I don’t choose my pain.


Why are so many of us just sitting back & letting this FDA & CDC control our why if life our quality shouldn’t be compermised or be full of pain because of opiads being brought in from other countries. Also it’s bit my fault people have died. Why should I live the rest of my life in agony because of abusers!! More people die from alcohol related deaths & cigarettes then opiates stop selling alcohol & tobacco too. We need to class action all doctors ,for unnecessary pain & suffering they are causing chronic pain patients. We don’t choose pain & we certainly don’t abuse our medication. This is wrong in so many ways! Help we need Help for our rights so please someone with the ways & means help us not greedy pharmaceutical, doctorers & institutions & politions who are in it for nothing more than money! Help us


Yes and the more we will suffer!! We need a class action law suit now!!


Daniel - Have you seen that the CDC has now stated that Kraton is an opioid? It’s being banned and will quickly become unavailable.

I am disgusted by all of this. I suffer from a rare, incurable disease known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. There is NO cure - nada, nothing. The only thing that helps me to function is my pain medication.

You cannot talk about assisting chronic pain patients and treating addicts in the same breath. And I’m sorry, but I don’t subscribe to the thinking that addiction is a disease. NO! You “chose” to shoot up with heroin or take bath salts or whatever. I didn’t choose to have this disease!!! I didn’t get to have a say. You did before you smoked, shot up, on snorted what you did.

This government is definitely practicing genocide against every chronic pain patient who requires opioids to have some semblance of a life. Pain patients subscribe to policies and drug tests, we are a group of people who are amongst the most vulnerable in society. We follow the rules but due to those who want to escape their responsibilities, feel entitled, and don’t give a dang about anyone else - we suffer. And please, I have a family member who’s an addict. No excuse. Sorry!

Why should I suffer more because you as an addict have decided to abandon life? Meanwhile, I’m fighting to have one! I am no addict. I am someone who fights an incurable disease 24/7. You can’t talk about addiction and legitimate pain medication use for long-term intractable pain - so stop treating pain patients like we’re criminals!

Kathy C

C’Mon People!

This is not about anything to do with us, it is about relentless Corporate Advertising, and using Journalists to spin the Facts. They are Gas Lighting all of us, along with the general public, while presenting Perdue and other Phrama Companies as beneficial and good investments. They have to promote the Administrations “Expert” because he is more interested in Corporate Profits, than the lives of most Americans. Of course the ultra wealthy will always have access to pain control, while people who actually work for a living and get injured or their bodies break down due to long work hours or injuries won’t.

Yes it is inhumane to strip the oxycontin away, it happened to me last year. My detox was horrible, at home by myself while my doctor tried to fight for it to be covered. Denial from insurance company was immediate. Put on morphine for a few months till I got back in with my pain management doctor. I hope some other company will be able to start making something similar. It really worked well and quickly for me so I don’t understand all the freaking fuss. My pain has to be managed every few hours now instead of every 12 hours. Did I get spoiled, enjoying my life too much for a person with spinalcord injury and intractable pain. I don’t enjoy life much now but I’m thankful to have my pain doctor and neurostimulator working in my favor.

Bruce Stewart

It’s criminal. We definitely need to look into class-action lawsuits ASAP. They’re just cynically suiciding all of us. Population control. The ones of us who take opioids are almost no drain on the system. We control our own pain, don’t visit the ER, don’t have unnecessary complications, we’re basically just like everyone else. Except we can’t work.
Please help us, Ed. We are going to die.

Lisa Brown

I agree with Joyce Noel. I am one of those pain patients being effected from all of this. What about our rights to live a humane life. Now our options are being taken away with no solutions in sight. How about coming up with a solution first before you further hurt legitimate pain patients. You will see more illegal drug sales I believe because there aren’t any alternative solutions. You will also see a rise in suicides because patients will have no hope at a better quality of life! How about legalizing medical marijuana and educate the public on all of its benefits. They can then start producing that as an alternative.


I have Arachnoiditis for 12 yeas now. Doctors say there is nothing they can do except manage my pain. I am in severe pain all the time. I take oxycontin for my pain. If I didn’t have oxycontin I would be bedridden 24 hours a day instead of 11 or 12 hours.

I know there are people dieing. But around here they are overdosing on Fentanyl and Heroine, not oxycontin. I have a son that is 23 years old and out of the house now. But when he was living here and had friends coming and going I had my medication locked up so he couldn’t get it.. actually, I still do lock up my medications.

There’s got to be a better way to fix things without taking medications that chronic pain patients rely on away from them! I know so many patients that this has happened to. They whole household falls apart and people start talking about suicide. I am holding my breath (which causes pain) every month when I have to get my prescription because I don’t know when my medications are going to be cut or stopped completely.

Purdue is not stop producing opiates… many of the insurance companies have stopped paying for Purdue’s opiate product… why promote a product no one can afford ? There is a new player bringing a long action tamper resistant Oxycodone Xtampra ER and what has been stated they are giving some pricing incentives into putting this product on their formulary.
who are the anti-opiate groups going to blame over the next 1-2 yrs as the opiate OD’s continue to dramatically increase ? But right now they are going to wave the “victory flag” as if this is something very important in regards to the reported opiate crisis. Of course, the two drugs - Alcohol & Nicotine - kills at least TEN TIMES every year whatever number the anti-opiates groups comes up with as associated with opiate OD’s but NO CRISIS HERE.

Kathy C

A different version of this Corporate Announcement was run by Yahoo News. The Clickbait link, “Surprising Reversal for Maker of Powerful Painkiller.” A picture of a bottle of Oxycontin accompanied the article. https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/oxycontin-maker-stop-promoting-opioids-doctors-160737996-finance.html , Note that it was in the Finance Section, in order to promote Perdue’s actions as reasonable, and to sell their stock. This carefully worded Press Release, acts to promote their behavior and portray Kolodny as an “Expert.” In the article they relay some facts about the current situation, along with some misinformation. Perdue, after they were sued in 2007, continued to market Oxycontin to Doctors, and they are cutting their sales staff, a public relations move in order to make Investors feel more comfortable. This cleverly written article is designed to paint Purdue in a positive light, while promoting Kolodny as an “Expert.” Kolodny states “”It is difficult to promote more cautious prescribing to the medical community because opioid manufacturers promote opioid use.” Even though the article mention the facts that most of the deaths from opiates are from heroin and fentanyl. These articles are almost Orwellian, they apply an amazing amount of Doublespeak. While they appear to inform the general public, they are carefully written for a deceptive purpose. This Press Release present Kolodny and his remarks as the last word or a logical response to the problem. It also portrays Perdues actions as a reasonable, and responsible. Their Corporate Message, is meant to mislead the average reader. They just leave out certain key facts, typical of most of these Advertorials. the Article appears to present information, but what they are really relaying here is something else. A positive corporate Image, and and specific information. Reading this article critically shows clear evidence of deception. The facts are obscured by Corporate Advertising. Even though people are dying from street drugs liek heroisn and fentanyl, Kolodny is still focusing on prescribers, and Chronic Pain patients. He repeats an Alternate Fact, “Kolodny said that opioids are useful for cancer patients who are suffering from severe pain, and for people who only need a pain medication for a few days. But he said the companies have promoted them as a treatment for chronic pain, where they are more harmful and less helpful, because it’s more profitable.” He clearly conflates Oxycontin with all Opiates, and claims these medications are harmful for chronic pain patients. This is deceptive and misleading, yet it has been repeated so many times by the media, it is now considered a fact. the majority of people dying are using street drugs, which will not be effected by going after prescribers, or long term Chronic pain patients. They carefully leave out the facts about how prescription databases, and reduction programs have already been implemented nationally. They also left out the fact that there are chronic pain patients who have been prescribed opiates for years, and that led to an improvement in function and ability to live their lives. Remember that these articles are designed to mislead, not… Read more »

Kimberly myers

Yes where is the help for chronic pain patients? Lawyers, doctors are all getting compiisation for what? We the pain community are the ones suffering. This is ludicrous. In 2018 there is no need for people to suffer from chronic pain. Bring back studies for chronic pain sufferers. Not compilation for class action lawyers who do nothing for patients. Chronic pain patients need representation for neglect & pain & suffering because of the FDA & over zealous parents blaming pain Managment doctores for their loved ones lost.

Alta Hanlon

It just isn’t right to cause the majority to suffer because of the actions of a few. Taking away addictive substances isn’t going to cure addictions. Either you have that kind of chemistry or you do not. Ten years of opioid therapy hasn’t made an addict of me yet.


I agree Joyce,,I myself have had to be hospitalized to receive pain med that I have been on for the past twenty years, I take med for chronic debilitating pain that twenty years ago had me totally bed ridden,praying for my life to end. Due to endless times going from one pain management clinic and doctors finally under strict supervision the doctors medicated me enough to partake in life again I worked from home and had had the ability to live a life not with total freedom from pain but what became tolerable. I have never increased my dose in eleven years now, I mark the time and dose carefully. Those of us that need pain medication need to send our voices to those that are going to the extreme in the other direction and at what price are we the innocent going to pay for those that have misused what is a necessity for many.who will step in for us?

Kimberly Schaal

Exactly! Praying for you and your husband Joyce! You are not alone! Where does all of this leave patients with real issues? I understand both sides of this horrible issue. But, we cannot forget about the people who depend on their quality of life affected directly by having and not having…. to even get out of bed. Doctors are so scared of even thinking about helping anyone. Where is their oath and compassion? And their updated training and opinions are so scattered. 15 min patient appts are just not enough to find the real issues, let alone treat them. They think its all common this or that. When its not always the case and then things get missed. And Heaven forbid we research ourselves to try to make the appt more efficient. No wonder this country has so many issues here. Doctors forgot how to listen to their patients. It took me a ton of persistence of trial and errors in doctors for a whole year after some common things were found and treated. No one would listen to what I felt it was and I had nearly given up, had it not been for my babies. Finally, I gave it one last try. Praise God! But I think of the physical, emotional, mental and financial strain we endured this whole last year. Not just on our family, but on both of our insurance companies! And then I think about all the people who give up while trying to find the issue…. or can’t afford the doctor search…. or worse…… can’t endure the doctors who are sworn to help…. look and treat you like you are drug seeking!! I am hopefully, on my way back from this horrible journey. I will never be 100%, I accept that. But the horrible roller coaster of bad to horrendous…. is hopefully slowed way down to tollerable. Piriformis Syndrome, Sciatica & both SI Joints, were my issues this last year that doctors ignored and were horrendously horrible, DDD, DFS, and Osteoarthritis to name a few. Lol Doctors have so much to learn. I wish they would stop acting like they know it all and start listening to their patients and then really researching the issue instead of passing the buck. Opioids are a huge issue. They never took my pain away, they eased it. Made it tolerable. But they have allowed me to have a bit of my life back during all of this. I could get out of bed, clean, make meals, take my kids to school, take them to soccer practice and games, grocery shop and take care of my family and elderly mother. So when the doctor is telling you that you should stop googling your symptoms and accept your age and getting older and tell you that youre emotional and have anxiety because Im taking the opioids. And tell you about opioid dependance….. maybe they should stop and think… maybe the patient is emotional because they are trying to summarize… Read more »

Tim Dixon

Just one more nail in my coffin and another hindrance in my quality of life.


It’s time people stand and fight or sue everyone involved on prescribing something they left patients on for years . They took hard earned money from them & have the nerve to come back years later & ruin lives !!There’s more recalls on their new meds than any opiate . This is being approached wrong & if every American don’t think this is going to affect them .. they are mistaken . Think about it … why would the government suddenly care and want involved ?? Lawyers will be busy on this because several things are wrong & how can you even taper down someone in pain ? And the ones that’s had a good quality of life for years can’t taper off like they think !!! The ” do no harm ” law has been broken because there’s a lot of harm . Every pain patient that’s had opiates for years & was told that it’s ok should get millions for being misled and lied too . Their trying to avoid lawsuits by hoping they will mess up on pain contract or they will taper them. Even ones on ultram should sue because they were told it wasn’t addicting . The only way to beat this is through the wallets and elections . We are becoming communist & most Americans are blinded by what’s going on until they get a serious injury or non curable illness .


I guess the solution to the heroin and illegal fentanyl problem is going to be the pharmaceutical companies will stop producing opiates. Yet another failure in the making. And again, where is the compassion for the millions, yes millions of chronic pain patients that can barely get out of bed. They have NO quality of life!


This should have been done along time ago. It has nothing to do with a doctors ability to prescribe opiates. It has to do with the pharmaceutical companies lying to the doctors about the risks of prescribing it.

Melanie Malema

i fully agree. as sufferer of fibromaylgia i no longer take opiods but live with a diminished quality of life as well as diminished earnings. It is truly sad and echos what happened in the 1900s with cocaine. Many sufferers comit suicde than live this way.

A real shame since this is a cancer pain med. A real shame we don’t find out which politicians may have pain issues, and take their meds away. We need to start tracking suicide deaths of chronic pain patients. The President is lucky to have a pain free family, as are the Senators and House. Instead of going after doctors who over prescribed and instead of busting heroine pushers, we as a country are going to show the world just how insensitive and barbaric we are to our own people. Is this a Republican measure? Let the parents who did not raise their kids right deal with their children’s choices to od. Don’t punish chronic pain people. At this rate I don’t see a reelection of many folks at all.


An absolute joke ..Chronic Pain Patients Protection Act NOW! Killing us simply killing us .

I agree with Joyce. I have multible pain issues, and the neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, ect., say they can’t help me.

We no longer live in a democracy. When the government can tell doctors what than can and cannot prescribe, and pharmacies limit quantity, the people like me that live with chronic pain will be unable to function in society.
Now druggies can get test strips to check the illegal opiates and make sure they are free of fentenol and also have their narcon for free. Makes me wonder…..


Switch to kratom, join the fight to keep kratom legal. Kratom saved my life after taking pain pills for 15 years. My quality of life has improved immensely, and my pain is held in an acceptable level of check. Despite what the DEA or FDA say, it IS a safe alternative. All natural. Because it takes money out of big pharmaceutical pockets is the only reason for the war on the plant Please research kratom.


Watch how fast suicides by pain patients outpaces deaths by opioid abusers….

I am getting so tired of this, when is this going to stop? Attorney general’s attacking pharmaceutical companies what a waste of money! this is a real issue we are chronic pain patients and we have the right to be treated respectfully and with medication that helps alleviate some of the pain. I am suffering from the reduction in my pain medication and I feel it taking a toll on my heart. Why can’t we go forward with a class-action because our government is infringing on our rights to medical treatment and treatment that is available for us we ever right as a free Society to seek and receive treatment. We need some attorneys that are willing to help us!

So how about all the pain patients that are affected by this issue? My husband has been on pain meds for about 15 years for his back and they were taken away. He has been to several surgeons lately who say there is nothing they can do. So now he is supposed to sit around in abject misery and hope for death? Yes these pharmaceutical companies have caused a problem but they need to be part of the solution especially for those with legitimate pain concerns. Where is the pain patients compensation in all of these lawsuits? Not that will it will take the pain away or even compensate for being in pain but my husband literally has no quality of life. He used to hunt and fish and work on our house. Now changing a lightbulb hurts not to mention how much are Income has been cut. This wide sweep of removing opioids from the market and keeping Dr from prescribing is in a word inhumane.