In part one of our Dopesick podcast, we discussed the effects that the opioid epidemic had on Appalachia and why the region was so vulnerable. In part two, we will discuss Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin marketing efforts and the enormous impact it had on the region.
In 1996, Purdue Pharma more than doubled the size of their salesforce and handpicked physicians who would be extremely susceptible to their marketing. Using data that they bought from IMS Health, they targeted which doctors prescribed the most competing painkillers. 4 years later, these representatives had influenced 94,000 physicians to push OxyContin and sales had increased almost tenfold.
Continuing the conversation with Beth Macey, she shares how OxyContin affected her hometown and how surrounding communities were ravaged with crime after the epidemic took off. Greg also talks with Dr. Art Van Zee about the deceptive marketing practices of Purdue Pharma and how these physicians were influenced. Hear more of the story on today’s podcast.