The opioid crisis that is sweeping the nation shows no signs of slowing down. More than 12 million people abused opioid-based pain relievers in 2016 and that number has almost certainly grown since then, with many addicted Americans now turning to harder street drugs like heroin as their addiction spirals out of control.
Luckily, stakeholders are beginning to pay attention to this expanding health crisis. Federal officials have started to examine the causes of the epidemic and attempt remedies through legislation, while media outlets have covered the human face of opioid addiction.
Yet, up to now, one player in the epidemic has been slow to act: the pharmaceutical companies that have made millions from selling opioid-based painkillers and other medications to hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies.
As USA Today reports, that may be about to change. Purdue Pharma, the maker of popular opioid pain reliever OxyContin, recently announced that they will no longer market the medication to physicians and will cut back on the sales staff that had helped spread the drug across the country.
In their coverage of this decision, USA Today spoke with our own Kevin O’Grady, the clinical director here at Midwest Recovery Centers, who discussed how the decision is long overdue but how much remains to be done to help slow the opioid crisis.
Read O’Grady’s thoughts and more analysis of Purdue’s decision here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/02/11/oxycontin-maker-cuts-sales-staff-wont-hawk-drug-docs/327251002/
See O’Grady explain why some doctors will still struggle over the opioid dilemma here: