Texas reaches agreement over OxyContin marketing

Marilyn Tennissen May 11, 2007, 5:00am

Texas and 25 other states have reached a settlement with Purdue Pharma Inc. that will stop the pharmaceutical company from unlawful marketing of the prescription pain killer OxyContin.

According to the settlement agreement, Purdue, a Connecticut company, consistently and deliberately downplayed the known risks associated with abuse of OxyContin.

The lawsuit claimed Purdue marketed OxyContin as a first-choice analgesic among physicians who treated a variety of pain symptoms. The statements were found to be in violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Under the terms of the agreement Purdue Pharma is prohibited from promoting OxyContin through "off label" marketing, the unlawful promotion of pharmaceutical products for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Purdue is also barred from making false or exaggerated claims about OxyContin's treatment properties and requires that Purdue employees undergo training to educate physicians and the public about its proper uses.

Purdue must pay $500,000 in fees to the state of Texas.

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