New York AG files suit against Insys for 'dangerous and deceptive' fentanyl marketing

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Feb. 1 filed a lawsuit against Insys Therapeutics for alleged "dangerous and deceptive" marketing of its fentanyl-based painkiller Subsys.

Subsys is only approved for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain. Mr. Schneiderman and other state attorneys general have accused Insys of marketing the painkiller for use by a wider range of patients.

"At a time when the opioid epidemic was ravaging New York, Insys Therapeutics allegedly engaged in a pattern of deceptive and illegal conduct by downplaying the drug's risks of addiction, bribing doctors to prescribe the drug, and lying to healthcare providers to skirt their authorization process," said Mr. Schneiderman.

The lawsuit aims to push Insys to relinquish up to $75 million in revenues earned during the alleged misconduct period.

In response to the lawsuit, Insys released the following statement:

"Like so many stakeholders in the healthcare community and in the government, we share the desire to address the serious national challenge related to the misuse and abuse of opioids that has led to addiction and unnecessary deaths and has caused so much pain to families and communities around the country.

"Consistent with our management team's sincere commitment to conduct business according to high ethical standards and the best interests of patients, we also have taken and will continue to strive to take measures to ensure that sound compliance protocols underpin our business practices. Furthermore, we intend to continue working collaboratively and constructively with all relevant authorities to resolve our outstanding governmental investigations."

Overall, the company said it does "not believe it is factually accurate to link Insys with materially contributing to the opioid crisis in the State of New York or the nation."

The full New York lawsuit is available here.


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