Producer of Top Opioid Painkiller to Finally Stop Advertising to Doctors
Decades ago, I heard a doctor on the radio reminding his listeners that, when it comes to medication, “If it’s strong enough to help you, it’s strong enough to hurt you.” This sentence stuck with me over the years and, whenever I have been offered a pill or potion, I remembered this simple wisdom.
Of course, like everyone else, there have been times when I have had no choice but to take medication. But, I try to limit my intake of pharmaceuticals as much as possible.
Now, as the opioid problem in America reaches epidemic proportions, this kind of thinking is more important than ever.
Furthermore, it’s not just consumers that need to remember that drugs are not just cures for illnesses but also potential causes of future problems. Our doctors could also use a reminder of this simple truth.
We Think that Our Doctors Are Infallible
From the time that we are kids, we are taught to respect our doctors. There is good reason for this. Listening to your doctor could, quite literally, mean the difference between life and death.
Unfortunately, our doctors are also people. As much as they like to think that they can “see through” advertising from big pharmaceutical companies, the truth is that they are just as susceptible as anyone else.
The only difference is that their cognitive biases and false beliefs have the power to change the course of our lives.
OxyContin Maker Spent Millions of Dollars Marketing to Doctors
OxyContin is the best-selling opioid painkiller in the world. For decades, its producer, Purdue, marketed its benefits to doctors in the United States and other countries.
From their perspective, they were marketing a revolutionary time-released product that had the potential to change lives.
Now, however, a set of new lawsuits claims that their marketing strongly influenced doctors and may have contributed to the current opioid abuse problem in the U.S.
OxyContin Advertising Pulled and Sales Jobs Cut… Will Other Companies Follow?
In response, in part, to the lawsuits that it is facing, OxyContin producer, Purdue has agreed to stop marketing directly to doctors. In addition, more than 50% of its sales force has been let go.
This means that doctors may feel less pressure to – or at the very least think twice about – prescribing opioids to their patients.
The big question now is whether other companies will change their policies like Purdue has. We can only hope that they care about the health of their customers as much as they value their profits.
Why do you think that the opioid problem has gotten out of control in the U.S. and other countries? What do you think about Purdue, the maker of OxyContin’s, decision to stop marketing the product to doctors? Let’s have a conversation!