Minnesota sues Insys Therapeutics for illegally marketing opioid drug
Category: #health  By Saipriya Iyer  Date: 2018-06-01
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Minnesota sues Insys Therapeutics for illegally marketing opioid drug

Minnesota has filed a litigation against Insys Therapeutics Inc., a U.S. based specialty pharma firm, for having illegally advertised a strong fentanyl-based pain killing drug. The legal suit filed by the Attorney General of Minnesota includes accusations against the firm for promoting the unapproved use of opioid medicine on the grounds of lessening the pain in cancer patients

Last month, the ex-sales representative of Insys, Natalie Perhacs, had been proved guilty for bribing two physicians in Alabama for prescribing the medicine. Apparently, she was sentenced to home confinement for five years by the U.S. District court in the opioid case.

In 2016, six former officials of Insys were charged in the scheme for promoting its painkilling drug Subsys, (which has incidentally received U.S. FDA approval for its use as a painkiller in cancer subjects) by offering kickbacks to doctors for prescribing the drug.  Yesterday, a former salesperson of the specialty pharma company, Michelle Breitenbach, had pleaded guilty before a law court in New Jersey. She was found to have bribed healthcare service providers for recommending Subsys to the patients and was sentenced to five years in prison.

The lawsuit registered against Insys in the District court of Hennepin County of Minnesota claimed that the pharma firm is encouraging physicians to recommend Subsys to patients diagnosed for medical conditions other than cancer, that too, at unapproved dosages. The litigation also alleges Insys of giving the nearly USD 43,000 to doctors in Minnesota as “speaker fees” for prescribing Subsys to their patients.

Earlier, the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, which had filed a litigation against Insys in Swanson, sought civil penalties against the firm through administrative action. However, Insys has announced that it is going to hold settlement discussions with the U.S. Justice department and is ready to pay compensation of nearly USD 150 million to resolve the charges.



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Saipriya Iyer

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer develops content for Market Size Forecasters, Algosonline, and myriad other platforms. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her bel...

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