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Illinois attorney general sues drug company over marketing

Illinois attorney general sues drug company over marketing (MGN Online)

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against a Phoenix-based pharmaceutical company for alleged deceptive marketing of an opioid drug meant for cancer patients.

The lawsuit filed Thursday claims Insys Therapeutics Inc. marketed its sublingual fentanyl spray Subsys to doctors who prescribed large amounts of painkillers instead of to cancer doctors.

Madigan says such marketing feeds a "dangerous opioid epidemic." She says doctors were rewarded for prescribing Subsys to non-cancer patients, including payments for bogus speaking events and dinners at expensive restaurants.

A spokeswoman for Insys Therapeutics did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment on the lawsuit. The company has said that the marketing of Subsys was appropriate.

Last year, the Oregon attorney general reached a $1.1 million settlement with Insys in a similar lawsuit.

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