Thursday, July 25

Insys Therapeutics Inc. Sued by Arizona Over Unlawful Prescription of Synthetic Opioid

The state of Arizona is in the process of suing Insys Therapeutics Inc., accusing the company of fabricating a scam to increase sales of Subsys, a cancer pain medication. The accusation states Insys paid doctors to write prescriptions for Subsys and convinced the patients’ insurance providers they had cancer in order to receive the opioid.

Along with the company, three doctors, Steve Fanto, Nikesh Seth, and Sheldon Gingerich, are also being sued for writing unnecessary prescriptions. These prescriptions generated over $33 million in sales between March of 2012 and April of 2017.

This lawsuit seeks for the defendants to be terminated from participating in unfair or deceptive acts, restitution for customers, and the discharging of any illegally gained profits. Each violation will cost the company a civil penalty of up to $10,000.

In December, a lawsuit in Boston charged six former Insys executives with attempting to bribe doctors to illegally prescribe Subsys, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin. The executives have pleaded not guilty.

“We need to put a stop to the unethical and greedy behavior in the pharmaceutical industry that is fueling the opioid crisis in our state,” Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General, said in a public statement.

An estimated 10% to 15% of the United States population is considered to have an “addictive” personality. In fact, there are over 23 million people over the age of twelve who are addicted to alcohol or to drugs. Arizona is one of the states with the worst drug addiction problems. After Texas, it has the highest volume of drug smuggling.

Here is a quick overview of drug use statistics in Arizona:

  • Methamphetamine addicts make up about 38% of drug addicts
  • Cocaine addicts make up about 42% of drug addicts
  • Heroin addicts make up about 43% of addicts that have sought treatment for heroin addiction
  • 46% of drug users are addicted to Marijuana
  • 77% of people treated for addiction are alcoholics

Arizona has approximately 140 deaths caused by alcohol and approximately 30 deaths caused by drug overdoses per month. Being in the path of drug transportation has taken Arizona’s level of drug use to an all time high.

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