Arizona sues Chandler drug maker Insys, doctors for over-prescribing opioid

Attorney General office sues Insys Therapeutics Inc. for alleged deceptive sales and practices for its drug, Subsys.

PHOENIX - The Arizona Attorney General's Office has filed a lawsuit against a Chandler pharmaceutical company, accusing it of deceptive sales and marketing practices, including paying a group of doctors to prescribe its drugs.

The company, Insys Therapuetics, makes an oral fentanyl spray called Subsys for cancer patients who are already taking painkillers to manage their pain.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich said Insys was misleading insurance companies and even paying three Arizona doctors "speaking fees" in exchange for writing prescriptions for Subsys.

"They were averaging more than 1,000 scrips of this [Subsys] a year," Brnovich said, "versus the rest of the doctors in Arizona that were averaging about 14."

The lawsuit alleges the three doctors were paid about $200,000 each, while the company made millions more. 

Brnovich said the lawsuit is asking for all the profits made from those sales to be given to the State of Arizona. 

Insys did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

The company has been the subject of multiple investigations, including a federal investigation into similar practices.

Six former employees were indicted earlier this year for an alleged scheme to bribe doctors in other states to prescribe Subsys. 

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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