Purdue Pharma cuts remaining sales force

Purdue Pharma, the embattled OxyContin maker, laid off the remaining members of its sales force June 19, as it shifts its focus away from opioids and pursues cancer and central nervous disorder medications, according to the Stamford Advocate.

In total, the drugmaker laid off 350 employees. More than half of the layoffs affected workers who were part of the sales team.

The company initially slashed its sales team by more than 50 percent in February and announced the remaining workers would no longer promote the painkiller to physicians.

The elimination of Purdue's entire sales group comes as the drugmaker faces hundreds of lawsuits about its role in the U.S. opioid epidemic. 

"Purdue has ended its sales force engagement with prescribers for all of its medicines … [and] is taking significant steps to transform and diversify beyond our historic focus of pain medications," Purdue spokesperson Bob Josephson told The Hartford Courant. "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."

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