Illinois attorney general files lawsuit against Insys over off-label marketing of Subsys fentanyl spray

by Jim Orr

The attorney general of Illinois has filed a lawsuit against Insys Therapeutics over the company’s marketing of the fentanyl sublingual spray, Subsys. Insys is facing a number of state and federal investigations over allegations of impropriety regarding its marketing of Subsys in violation of Food and Drug Administration regulations.

Subsys is an oral spray that is used to treat opioid tolerant patients with severe, chronic pain. The drug was released by Insys in 2012, and went on to become the company’s highest selling drug, earning $329.5 million in net profits in 2015 alone.

According to the lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in Cook County Circuit Court, Insys illegally marketed Subsys to doctors who were known to prescribe high volumes of opioid painkillers. The FDA had only approved Subsys for use in patients with extreme pain, such as cancer patients, that could not be managed through less powerful opioid medications. Under federal law, drug companies are not allowed to market pharmaceutical products for these “off-label” uses.

The Illinois lawsuit alleges that Insys rewarded doctors who prescribed Subsys for off-label use through supposed speaking engagements or high-priced dinners. Weeks before the lawsuit against Insys was filed in Illinois, federal investigators charged two former Insys employees in New York with orchestrating the kickback scheme to reward doctors who prescribed Subsys in violation of FDA rules to their patients.

The Illinois lawsuit against Insys is the latest in a series of legal actions and investigations taken by state officials in regard to the off-label prescription of Subsys. In August 2015, the company agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle charges filed in Oregon by state officials over the marketing of Subsys. Insys has also faced investigations by state attorney generals in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Connecticut, and Arizona.

In addition to the state and federal investigations into the marketing of Subsys, Insys has also faced several lawsuits filed by individuals and corporations. In 2014, investors in the pharmaceutical company filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Insys had misled investors about the company’s marketing of Subsys. Earlier this year, a Florida company filed a lawsuit against Insys over insurance payments made over off-label Subsys prescriptions.

Fentanyl Lawsuits Filed By Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of complications caused by Subsys or other fentanyl products, you may take legal action against the manufacturer or the doctor or hospital that prescribed the drug. The first step in filing a lawsuit is to speak with an attorney who can advise you about your rights and guide you through the process of taking legal action in your case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have handled more cases involving the fentanyl pain patch than all other firms in the U.S. combined. Our law firm is committed to helping patients and their families who have been affected by complications caused by fentanyl and other opioid painkillers.

In addition to lawsuits filed against opioid manufacturers such as Insys, many lawsuits have also been filed against doctors, hospitals, or medical staff who improperly administered fentanyl products or other opioids to their patients. In some cases, complications can arise when fentanyl and other opioid medications are prescribed in combination with other CNS-depressant medications, leading to combined drug overdose.

For more information about the fentanyl lawsuits filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson and to learn more about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact our offices for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answer a few simple questions to get started.