Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 02/26/2018  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Drug Overdose Deaths Increased 11% in Maine in 2017
•  MMA Board to Address Several Critical Issues at Annual President's Retreat in March
•  Center for American Progress Unveils "Medicare Extra for All"
•  Purdue Pharma Announces Cessation of Marketing Oxycontin to Prescribers
•  3 Ways to Maximize Employer Diabetes Prevention Tools for Your Patients
•  Notes from the American Medical Association
•  Information for MaineCare Providers
•  Legislative Call This Tuesday, February 27th
•  Legislative Report: The Laws Governing Minors' Consent to Treatment and More
•  Healthcare Suicide Prevention Protocol Development Training - half day workshop - March 2
•  March 6th Quality Payment Webinar
•  28th Annual Winter Conference - Contemporary Topics in Orthopedics - March 16-18
•  QC2018: Building Communities of Practice through Innovation - Wednesday, April 4, 2018
•  MMA and Jackson Laboratory Seeking Volunteers to Assist with 2018 Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative Forum
•  New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
•  Peer Navigation Program from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE)
•  Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
•  Operations Director
•  Associate Director/Director of Compliance, Privacy, Risk and Legal Affairs for Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor, Maine
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  Relocate to Beautiful Southwestern Maine - Medical Director/Family Practice Physician
•  Clinical Cardiology Opportunity
•  Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians


Purdue Pharma Announces Cessation of Marketing Oxycontin to Prescribers

Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma LP announced last week that it has cut its sale force in half and will stop promoting opioids to prescribers.

The privately held company based in Stamford, Ct. made the announcement following criticism of the way that opioid manufacturers market controlled substances.  The company's remaining sales force of 200 detailers will now focus on Symproic, a drug for treating opioid-induced constipation and other potential non-opioid products.

Purdue and other manufacturers have been fighting lawsuits by state, counties and cities that have alleged that the companies deceptively marketed their opioid products. Purdue and three executives pleaded guilty in 2007 to federal charges related to the misbranding of oxycontin and paid $634.5 million to settle charges brought about by a U.S. Justice Department investigation.  Purdue also reached a $19.5 million settlement that same year with 26 states and the District of Columbia.  It agreed in 2015 to pay $24 million to resolve a lawsuit in Kentucky.
In an interview with Maine Public radio one week ago, MMA President Robert Schlager, M.D. noted that while the action by the company was a good step, it was one that should have taken place many years ago and expressed concern that the company has arrangements with companies marketing their product internationally and that those companies are allegedly using the same marketing tactics as were used in this country.  Family physician Noah Nesin, M.D. of Bangor in the same story noted that the company begin this marketing over 20 years ago and that as a result hundreds of thousands of patients developed opioid use disorder and many have been victims of overdose deaths.