TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey’s battle against opioid addiction is entering a new arena.
The state is suing a major drug manufacturer over how a painkiller is marketed.
Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics is accused of pushing the fentanyl drug Subsys for far more than the federally approved use of treating pain suffered by cancer patients.
The reason? Money.
More than $74 million worth of the drug was sold in the state over a four year period, according to Attorney General Christopher Perrino, who said that “the conduct alleged in our lawsuit is nothing short of evil.”
“It used every trick in the book to try and increase its profits by selling more of this drug to patients who shouldn’t have been getting it,” Perrino told KYW Newsradio. “And they did that in a number of ways including, we allege, by paying what are in effect kickbacks to physicians to motivate them to prescribe this to their patients.”
The suit was filed in Middlesex County Superior Court.
Subsys is also thought to have led to the death of a Camden County woman being treated for fibromyalgia.
Insys has not issued a comment on the matter.