The prescription pill is the world's top-selling opioid painkiller and has raked in billions for Purdue since it was introduced in 1996. "Even if we save one life due to this decision, it is worth it".
"We would have more success in encouraging cautious prescribing if drug companies stopped promoting aggressive prescribing", he told the Times.
The Connecticut-based drugmaker said that it has already reduced its sales representative to 200 and has restructured its commercial operation.The drug company said that its sales representatives will longer visit doctors' offices to promote the company's opioid products.
Doctors who want information on opioids will now need to contact the company's medical affairs department. As part of the plan, the company has cut its sales force in half.
He said Purdue's decision is helpful, but it won't make a major difference unless other opioid drug companies do the same. Symproic is used to treat opioid-related constipation.
Purdue's decision to entirely stop marketing the drug in the USA comes amid a new wave of legal action, reminiscent of the legal campaign against tobacco companies in the 1990s.
At least 14 states have sued Purdue, and many cities including Greenfield and Springfield in Western Massachusetts.
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The lawsuits say Purdue misled prescribers and the public by marketing opioids as a safe substitute for non-addictive pain medications such as ibuprofen and contributed to an increase in heroin use.
The government claims the results have been tragic - and left government agencies with millions in social and health care costs.
Purdue has denied the allegations, stating that its drugs are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and account for only 2 percent of all opioid prescriptions. "How could we not help fight the prescription and illicit opioid abuse crisis?"
Opioids are substances that work on the nervous system in the body or specific receptors in the brain to reduce the intensity of pain.
Opioids, though, were involved in more than 42,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the most recent figures suggest that 145 Americans now die every day from overdoses.