Maine physician: Halting physician-aimed opioid marketing now is '20 years' too late

After Purdue Pharma said it would stop marketing opioid drugs to physicians, Bangor, Maine-based Penobscot Community Health Care Vice President Noah Nesin, MD, said the decision was "20 years late to the game," NPR reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. Purdue Pharma paid approximately $600 million in fines 10 years ago for misleading physicians and regulatory bodies about opioid addiction risk.

2. Several states across the U.S. are suing Purdue Pharma for deceptive marketing practices in an attempt to recoup some of the funds used to fight the opioid addiction crisis.

3. A Purdue Pharma spokesperson said the company made the decision "independent of any litigation."

4. Dr. Nesin said although late, the decision should reinforce the notion that physicians need to be careful when prescribing opioids.

5. Maine Medical Association President Robert Schlager, MD, echoes Dr. Nesin's sentiment. He believes although small, the move is a good first step to fight the opioid epidemic. He said, "I wouldn't expect it to have a very large role in limiting opioids further. Because most of us, as prescribers, do limit our information exchange with the drug representatives who have been marketing opioids."

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