Opioids are exceptional painkillers which are used for treating conditions of chronic pain associated with cancer and other painful diseases. The decision by the manufacturers of OxyContin not to encourage doctors to prescribe the opioid has received positive reviews from experts who have also cautioned that more needs to be done before the opioid epidemic is crushed.
Purdue Pharma has decided to slash sales staff and to stop the promotion of OxyContin to healthcare professionals. Their decision is coming after a series of lawsuits have been filed against the pharmaceutical industry throughout the nation about the opioid epidemic. The decision to stop the promotion of OxyContin is effective from February 12, 2018.
Purdue Pharma is receiving positive reviews with mixed opinions
The medical director at the Center for Network Therapy Detox Program in New Jersey, Indra Cidambi announced she was encouraged by the announcement made by Purdue Pharma. The detox program Cidambi is heading is the nationally recognized authority on the abuse of opioids and a positive review coming from this organization could have been considered as encouraging for the pharmaceutical giant.
Cidambi has however issued a warning by stating that tightening the supply of prescription OxyContin had begun to encourage illegal drug dealers that had begun to market a combination of drugs which resemble prescription medications but are even more lethal.
Cidambi also mentioned that the decision by Purdue Pharma to withdraw support for the promotion of OxyContin was a step which was too late but it was better than having no decision at all. Speaking to the USA today Cidambi stated that the decision was worth it because it could potentially help to save lives.
Will the decision prevent the opioid epidemic from continuing?
The clinical director for the Kansas City-based Midwest Recovery Centers, Kevin O’Grady has provided an opinion which is similar to Cidambi while also stating that pharmaceutical companies and professionals in the medical fraternity and society need additional resources for treating individuals already affected by the opioid epidemic.
He admitted that the decision by Purdue Pharma was a step in the right direction but was only representing a minor fraction of the problem. Pharmaceutical companies are not treating the opioid epidemic as an illness and are just making attempts to stop the epidemic by curtailing prescription supplies of OxyContin.
After Purdue Pharma decided not to promote the prescription of OxyContin to healthcare providers it is certain that illegal marketers of prescription drugs would have begun stalking on other synthetic versions of similar drugs. OxyContin is prescribed highly by medical professionals as a treatment for chronic pain and the habit has been continuing for the last two decades.
OxyContin has addictive qualities and the manufacturers had not revealed this information to the public. They are presently facing a plethora of lawsuits for withholding information about the addictive qualities of OxyContin.
The pharmaceutical company is not a stranger to the controversy regarding the opioid epidemic. They had been fined $630 million a decade ago when the former executives along with the company pleaded guilty in a federal court of misleading the public and withholding information of the addictive nature of OxyContin. The decision which was announced last week may perhaps give an indication that the pharmaceutical giant is finally ready to make amends.
What are the repercussions of withdrawing support for OxyContin?
As mentioned earlier the market for illegal opioids will be encouraged by the decision to bring in new varieties of synthetic drugs which could be more dangerous than OxyContin. Purdue Pharma is also laying off sales staff and therefore could be contributing to the problem of unemployment within the United States.
Professionals in the medical fraternity are not being prohibited from prescribing this drug which is addictive in nature and are just being discouraged from writing prescriptions.
The opioid epidemic is not likely to end because of the decision made by this pharmaceutical company. More needs to be done to subdue the opioid epidemic which has gained a steady foothold among the population of this nation.
Are pharmaceutical companies prepared to introduce alternatives which are not addictive to the market to deal with the consequences of the withdrawal of OxyContin?
Are they prepared to begin working and producing drugs which are safe but at the same time are also effective when treating chronic pain?
Unless pharmaceutical companies begin working to introduce alternatives small measures taken to curtail the supply of an addictive drug is unlikely to make a major difference.