Insys settles Illinois opioid lawsuit for $4.45M

Chandler, Ariz.-based Insys Therapeutics agreed to pay $4.45 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2016, alleging the company deceptively marketed its fentanyl-based painkiller Subsys, according to an Aug. 18 announcement.

While Subsys is meant to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients, the lawsuit alleged Insys deceptively marketed and sold the painkiller for off-label uses, such as treating back and neck pain. Insys sold nearly $12 million worth of the drug in Illinois between April 2012 and March 2015, according to the lawsuit.

"Insys pushed a highly addictive opioid in complete disregard for patients' health to increase company profits," Ms. Madigan said. "It's unethical, greedy behavior by companies like Insys that is responsible for creating the opioid epidemic and resulting overdose deaths in our state."

Under the settlement, Insys will create a program to identify prescribers who are either misusing opioids themselves or promoting the misuse of opioids among patients. The settlement also restricts Insys from marketing Subsys to oncologists and prescribers treating patients with cancer pain.

Insys did not admit to any liability or wrongdoing under the agreement.

More articles on opioids: 
Price praises China for help with opioid crisis 
Express Scripts to limit opioids for first time users: 4 things to know 
Michigan governor creates state panel to address opioid crisis

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