Thursday, May 10, 2007
Attorney General Abbott Halts Unlawful Marketing of Pain KillerDALLAS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and 25 other states have reached a settlement with Purdue Pharma Inc. that halts the pharmaceutical company’s unlawful marketing of OxyContin, a prescription pain killer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Purdue Pharma is prohibited from promoting OxyContin through “off label” marketing, which is the unlawful promotion of pharmaceutical products by drug companies for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Purdue is also barred from making false or exaggerated claims about OxyContin’s treatment properties. The agreement also requires that Purdue employees undergo training to educate physicians and the public about its proper uses.
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“Texans will not tolerate deception or misinformation about health care products,” said Attorney General Abbott. “This agreement ensures that physicians and patients are fully informed about the risks and appropriate uses of OxyContin. The Office of Attorney General will continue aggressively protecting the health and safety of Texas consumers.”
According to the settlement agreement, Purdue, a Connecticut company, consistently and deliberately downplayed the known risks associated with abuse of OxyContin. Prescriptions of OxyContin subsequently increased, as did its abuse by legitimate users and schemes to divert the drug to illicit users for a profit.
Purdue must pay $500,000 in fees to the state of Texas. These funds will allow the Attorney General to recover costs incurred during its investigation of the Purdue’s unlawful promotional scheme. According to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, Purdue marketed OxyContin as a first-choice analgesic among physicians who treated a variety of pain symptoms in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.