Illinois Attorney General Sues Insys Over Off-Label Marketing of Opioid Fentanyl

August 29, 2016

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against Insys Therapeutics for deceptively marketing and selling its opioid fentanyl product Subsys.

Madigan’s suit alleges that Insys illegally marketed Subsys to doctors who prescribed high volumes of the drug, instead of focusing its marketing on oncologists. The FDA approved Sybsys in 2012 for use by cancer patients, the lawsuit noted.

The attorney general’s lawsuit seeks to permanently bar the company from selling Subsys in Illinois and impose financial penalties for violating the Consumer Fraud Act. 

“This drug company’s desire for increased profits led it to disregard patients’ health and push addictive opioids for non-FDA approved purposes,” Madigan said in a press release. “It’s this type of reprehensible and illegal conduct that feeds the dangerous opioid epidemic and is another low for the pharmaceutical industry.”

The suit is the result of an investigation into the allegations that Insys was marketing Subsys as a treatment for back and neck pain as well as other chronic conditions, despite not having FDA approval for those uses. Additionally, the suit alleges Insys pushed doctors to prescribe higher and more expensive doses of Subsys, contrary to FDA mandates to keep patients on the lowest possible doses.

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