For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: May 8, 2007

Wasden Joins States in Settlement with Manufacturer of OxyContin

Boise – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Attorneys General of 25 states and the District of Columbia reached a settlement with Purdue Pharma (“Purdue”) which will prohibit the practice of “off label” marketing of the prescription drug OxyContin and may reduce the incidence of addiction.

The settlement resolves allegations that Purdue had engaged in extensive off label marketing of OxyContin and failed to adequately disclose abuse and diversion risks associated with the drug. Off label marketing is the practice of promoting and marketing a product for uses that are not indicated in the product’s FDA-approved “Indications and Usage” guideline insert.

“OxyContin is a narcotic pain medication that, while highly effective for some patients, can be highly addictive,” Attorney General Wasden said. “It is my hope that this settlement will reduce the marketing and availability of OxyContin for purposes other than those approved by the Food and Drug Administration.”

Purdue has admitted to no wrongdoing.

As part of the settlement, Purdue must provide an abuse and diversion detection program that the company established internally. The program will detect problems with prescribing the drug and requires drug field representatives to undergo training before being allowed to promote OxyContin.

The proposed settlement prohibits Purdue from making any false, misleading or deceptive claims regarding OxyContin and the company must comply with certain restrictions and requirements. Among the terms of the settlement:

  • Purdue must market and promote OxyContin in a manner consistent with its package insert and not in a manner that minimizes the approved uses for the drug;
  • Purdue cannot market or promote OxyContin for off-label purposes – those beyond the approved indications and uses of the drug;
  • Purdue cannot exclusively base its sales representatives’ bonuses on the volume of OxyContin prescribed;
  • Any recipient of funds or other remuneration for grants from Purdue must publicly disclose the existence of that remuneration;
  • Purdue cannot sponsor or fund any educational events where Purdue has knowledge at the time the decision for sponsorship or funding is made that a speaker will recommend the off-label use of OxyContin;
  • In the performance evaluations of sales representatives, Purdue must consider the sales representatives’ efforts in educating prescribers about OxyContin and its potential for abuse and diversion.

The settlement also requires Purdue to pay the states $19.5 million. The State of Idaho will receive $719,500.

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