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Arizona targets opioid manufacturer for alleged fraudulent marketing

By Mark Iandolo | Sep 8, 2017

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Aug. 31 that he has filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Insys Therapeutics Inc., an opioid manufacturing company in Chandler, Arizona, for allegations of fraudulent marketing.

According to Brnovich’s office, Insys conducted a scheme of fraudulent marketing to increase sales of Subsys without regard to human health – the drug is an opioid that contains fentanyl and is highly addictive.

“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,” Brnovich said.

Arizona’s lawsuit also names three doctors in the state, Steve Fanto, Nikesh Seth and Sheldon Gingerich. These doctors purportedly wrote prescriptions for Subsys in exchange for money, and the money was collected via sham educational “speaker fees.”

According to Brnovich’s office, more than $33 million – roughly 64 percent of Subsys' sales – in the state from March 2012 to April 2017 came via prescriptions from the aforementioned doctors.

Brnovich’s office seeks restitution for consumers, disgorgement of profits, and an injunction to prevent the scheme in the future. Handling the case for Arizona is consumer litigation unit chief counsel Matthew du Mee.

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