OcyContin’s global drive: ‘We’re only just getting started - (Boston Herald via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Prescriptions for OxyContin have fallen nearly 40 percent since 2010, with billions of dollars in lost revenue for its manufacturer Purdue Pharma, Boston Herald reported.

  • The company's owners, the Sackler family, are reportedly moving rapidly into Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and pushing for broad use of the drug in countries ill-prepared to deal with opioid abuse and addiction.

  • A network of international companies, known as Mundipharma, owned by the family are using some of the marketing practices that made OxyContin a pharmaceutical blockbuster in the US.

  • In Brazil, China and elsewhere, the companies are running training seminars urging doctors to overcome opiophobia and prescribe painkillers.

  • US Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy said he would advise his peers abroad "to be very careful" with opioid medications and to learn from US "missteps."

  • Meanwhile, Mundipharma International said it was "mindful of the risk of abuse and misuse of opioids" and was "drawing on the experiences and insights of the US in tackling this issue."

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