Federal prosecutors have indicted several former Insys Therapeutics executives on charges that they bribed doctors to prescribe Subsys spray to non-cancer patients. Individuals who suffered an overdose or lost a loved one due to off-label prescribing should consider filing a Subsys spray lawsuit to hold Insys accountable for its alleged wrongful conduct.
The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating Subsys spray lawsuits involving deaths and injuries related to off-label use. If you or a loved were prescribed Subsys to treat non-cancer pain and suffered an overdose, please call (888) 994-5118 to arrange for a free case review today.
Subsys spray is a sublingual fentanyl spray indicated solely to treat breakthrough pain experienced by adult cancer patients who have developed a tolerance to opioid painkillers. Fentanyl is 10-times stronger than morphine and is known to be extremely addictive. Use of Subsys spray is highly-restricted, as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires that it be prescribed in accordance with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS to lessen the potential for addiction, overdose and other adverse events.
Subsys spray was approved by the FDA in 2012. In the first half of 2015, Insys Therapeutics earned $147.2 million from its sales. During that period, the fentanyl spray accounted more than 99% of the company’s revenue.
In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained indictments against six former Insys Therapeutics executives for allegedly bribing doctors to overprescribe Subsys spray. The indictment also listed 10 unnamed healthcare professionals as co-conspirators. The Insys executives are accused of paying doctors sham speaking fees to induce them to prescribe Subsys spray for off-label indications, while the medical professionals allegedly conspired with an Insys “reimbursement unit” to write insurance claims that made it appear as though the medication was being used appropriately to treat cancer patients.
In June 2017, a former manager at Insys Therapeutics pled guilty to a single count of wire fraud, admitting that she directed employees at the Insys Reimbursement Center to lie to insurers, defrauding them into paying for Subsys. The manager has agreed to cooperate with the DOJ in its case against the six former Insys Therapeutics executives.
Several Subsys spray lawsuits have been filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered overdoses after being prescribed the powerful opioid for non-cancer-related pain relief. Among other things, plaintiffs claim that Insys salespeople specifically targeted family doctors, internists, and general practitioners, despite being aware that they weren’t treating patients with cancer pain. More than 80% of Subsys scripts were off-label by the end of 2015, according to complaints.
A number of state attorneys general have also accused Insys of deceptively promoting Subsys spray for non-cancer conditions such as neck and back pain. In August 2015, the Oregon attorney general reached a $1.1 million Subsys settlement with Insys. A similar lawsuit was settled by the state of New Hampshire in January 2017.
Individuals who suffered an overdose after being prescribed Subsys spray for non-cancer pain may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. Those who lost a loved one due to the off-label use of this drug may also be entitled to damages for wrongful death. To learn more about filing a Subsys spray lawsuit, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today, at (888) 994-5118.
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