Insys Pharmaceuticals settled with the state of Illinois for $4.45 million to settle a 2016 lawsuit over the company’s deceptive marketing of opioids, the state attorney general announced.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued Insys, accusing the company of selling its product, Subsys, for a variety of off-label pain treatments such as back and neck pain. The drug, which is more powerful than morphine, was indicated exclusively for treating breakthrough cancer pain.
Madigan’s investigation found that Insys pressured doctors to prescribe higher and costlier doses of the drug in defiance of FDA mandates. According to her findings, Insys rewarded doctors for prescribing Subsys for off-label uses. Paul Madison, the state’s top Subsys prescriber, wrote nearly 58 percent of Illinois prescriptions even though he was an anesthesiologist and hardly ever treated cancer patients. More than 95 percent of the Subsys prescriptions he wrote were for issues other than breakthrough cancer pain.