Purdue Pharma helps bring patients relief from pain. The company specializes in developing, manufacturing, and marketing prescription and over-the-counter medicines and healthcare products, which include sustained-release and long-acting treatments for chronic and severe pain. Purdue has an exclusive US licensing and co-promotion agreement with Labopharm Inc. of Laval, Canada for Ryzolt (tramadol HCl extended-release tablets), an extended release formulation of tramadol. Its other opioid drugs for pain relief include controlled-release analgesic OxyContin (a version of oxycodone), and morphine drug MS Contin.
Additional prescription products in its cabinet include pain patch Butrans, pain reliever Dilaudid, and sleep aid Intermezzo, a low-dose, sublingual version of FDA-approved sleep aid zolpidem. Purdue also sells a number of non-prescription products including topical antiseptic Betadine and the Colace and Senokot lines of laxatives.
Purdue and its independent associated companies (including the Mundipharma/Napp companies) have a presence in more than 30 countries.
The company continues to develop and commercialize new products through alliances with such companies as Transcept and Labopharm. It is also working with Shionogi & Co., one of Japan's largest research-based pharmaceutical companies, to discover and develop new non-opioid pain medications.
While Purdue's OxyContin was hailed as a breakthrough pain therapy in the 1990s when it was approved, it has since generated much controversy. OxyContin pills are meant to be swallowed whole, with a time-release mechanism slowly delivering a potent opiate over twelve hours. However, illegal abusers of the highly-addictive drug found ways of crushing and then ingesting the powder to get a heroin-like high. As a result, it gained popularity as a street drug.
Purdue has taken steps to curb abuse of the painkiller, implementing a risk management program that included greater education efforts and collaboration with pharmacists and law enforcement. It discontinued its immediate release OxyContin product in 2009. At the same time, Purdue has fought to protect its patent from other companies attempting to produce generic versions of OxyContin, and worked to develop an abuse-resistant formulation of the drug.