War on drugs: OxyContin maker stops promoting opioids, cuts sales staff

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The drug epidemic in the U.S. is off the rails, with more people dying of drug overdoses each month.  Opioids were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP said on Saturday that it has cut its sales force in half and will stop promoting opioids to physicians, following widespread criticism of the ways that drugmakers market addictive painkillers.

The drugmaker said it will inform doctors on Monday that its sales representatives will no longer visit physician offices to discuss its opioid products. It will now have about 200 sales representatives, Purdue said.

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