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New York sues Insys Therapeutics over flooding state with fentanyl

Published On: 02-14-2018 in Category: Prescription Medication

New York sues Insys Therapeutics over flooding state with fentanyl

New York has sued fentanyl maker Insys Therapeutics, seeking damages for intentionally flooding the state with the deadly drug as the opioid crisis escalates. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the lawsuit on Feb. 1, 2018, against Insys over manufacturing and distributing fentanyl-based cancer drug called Subsys. The lawsuit alleges that the drug maker wilfully downplayed the addictive nature of the drug, and pushed the medicine into the markets. It also alleged that Insys bribed physicians to prescribe the drug to their patients and used fraudulent means to secure authorization from insurance companies.

In lieu of the innumerable cases of addiction and fatal overdoses, the lawsuit aims to seek around $75 million as damages. Schneiderman also blamed Insys for carelessly pushing doctors to prescribe Subsys for unauthorized conditions at a time when the opioid epidemic was ravaging New York. Records show that the very year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for managing cancer-related pain, Subsys accounted for almost 98 percent of the net profits to the company in 2012. So far, Insys has not responded to the allegations as the company is presently facing similar lawsuits in several other U.S. states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that medical practitioners writing millions of prescriptions for opioid painkillers has fueled the epidemic, which is now ravaging the entire nation. In fact, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths in the country involve a prescription drug.  In 2016, drug overdoses contributed to nearly 63,600 deaths, with opioids causing around 42,000 fatalities.

Fentanyl is an addictive opioid

Similar to other addictive opioids, fentanyl is known to alter the brain’s reward centers to induce addiction to the drug. Further, it also has an immediate effect on the body and even small quantities can impair the respiratory system to a large extent. As a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, it can prove to be a deadly combination if mixed with any other depressant such as alcohol or heroin. Experts studying the fentanyl-related overdose deaths say several drug dealers are cutting their heroin supplies with carfentanil, which is a synthetic form of fentanyl, supposedly 10,000 times more lethal than morphine.

Studies show that since 2003, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of overdose deaths involving different prescription opioids. In fact, painkiller medications have killed more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. Over time, millions of opioid abusers take to heroin as an economic alternative when they lose access to the pills. Health care providers need to identify patients who are vulnerable to addiction and also ensure that those, who are being treated with opioids, receive only the prescribed amount of medication.

Battling the addiction menace

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to opioids or any other drug, seek treatment immediately. The New York Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 646-666-7461 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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