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Purdue culls 350 positions, eradicates sales force

Published on 21/06/18 at 10:59am

Bowing to the pressure applied by external groups for the part it has played in the ongoing opioid crisis, Purdue Pharma has announced that it has axed around 350 employees from the company, a move which also includes the eradication of the remainder of its already-gutted sales force.

Half of the total number of latest severances were from its sales force, the company confirmed. The drug firm had more than halved its sales team back in February alongside its announcement that it would terminate any further promotion of its OxyContin (oxycodone) painkiller, as well as other opioid products, to prescribers across the US. The latest move to cull the remnants of this team leaves around 550 roles functioning at the company across all of its locations, it said.

“This information today also means that Purdue has ended its sales force engagement with prescribers for all of its medicines,” remarked spokesperson Bob Josephson to the Hartford Courant. “Purdue Pharma is taking significant steps to transform and diversify beyond our historic focus of pain medications. As a consequence of these plans and as the most recent change new management has made over the last year, a number of positions at the company have been eliminated.”

Purdue has said that its renewed focus will be on cancer and central nervous system disorders, "primarily through emphasis on internal and partnered R&D programmes," as well as on continued support for its opioid analgesic candidates, adding that it would be taking “meaningful steps” to tackle the opioid crisis it has helped create.

The company has recently found itself, alongside a number of other firms, in the targets of lawsuits from Boston and New York for its role in the epidemic.

Matt Fellows

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