Subsys Fentanyl Spray Class Action Lawsuit
Insys Therapeutics, Inc. is the manufacturer of Subsys, which is a sublingual delivery of fentanyl that is highly addictive and highly profitable for the manufacturer. If you or someone you know has become habitually addicted to Subsys or died as result of an improper Subsys prescription, then you may have a claim or lawsuit.
Your case may involve medical malpractice against your prescribing doctor or you may have a product liability claim against Subsys, including claims for fraud and racketeering, depending on how you were prescribed Subsys and the individual facts underlying your case.
We are currently representing plaintiffs for both medical malpractice claims against physicians and class action lawsuits against Insys Therapeutics, Inc., the manufacturer of Subsys. If you believe that you have a case, please call us today for a free case review and consultation with a medical malpractice and class action lawsuit attorney. There are no attorney fees or costs unless money is recovered for you.
What Is Subsys?
Subsys is a form of fentanyl that is delivered by a spray under the tongue for breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP) that is 100 times more powerful than morphine. As of December 2016, Subsys was only approved for the use of breakthrough cancer pain. However, a number of medical doctors are prescribing Subsys for off-label use. Subsys was first approved by the FDA in January 2012 and has become the most widely prescribed transmucosal pain medication for immediate pain relief, according to documents filed by Insys Therapeutics.
With approximately 42% of the market share, Subsys is generating over $250 million in annual sales. As of December 2016, there were over 22,100 patients taking Subsys. Many of these prescriptions may be causing improper harm to patients and should be examined by a Subsys attorney to determine whether a patient’s claim fits within a medical malpractice claim, a product liability class action, or both.
What Is Subsys Used For?
Subsys was approved for use by cancer patients. Cancer pain has a tendency to cause pain by pressing on nerves and causing damage to the bone tissue of a patient. In addition, treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, can all involve a great degree of pain and discomfort to the patient. For persistent or continuous pain, long acting or sustained release medication is taken on a regular schedule while breakthrough cancer pain, which can be very severe and sudden, may require a stronger or faster acting medicine.
As breakthrough cancer pain often lasts several minutes up to an hour, it is estimated that 60% of cancer patients may be prescribed a medication such as Subsys.
Subsys delivers pain relief within 5 minutes of taking the medication.
Risk Of Taking Subsys And Improper Prescriptions For Off-Label Uses
Subsys is highly addictive and carries a risk of overdose, possibly resulting in death. Problems with Subsys were addressed by whistleblower Patty Nixon in an interview with Cynthia McFadden at NBC News. In particular, the company is alleged by Ms. Nixon to be engaged in unethical and illegal marketing practices in order to get approval from health insurance companies to make sales. Further, it was claimed that the company had its representatives deceive health insurers on whether patients were cancer patients, whether they had difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), or was otherwise medically necessary.
Ms. Nixon claimed that she was instructed by the company to call on behalf of the prescribing physician’s office to seek pre-approval of Subsys. A federal investigation into Subsys’s corporate activities and marketing methods is ongoing.
A 30-day supply of Subsys can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000 depending on the dosage prescribed.
Medical Malpractice Claims Against Prescribing Doctors
In general, a physician is subject to a medical malpractice claim if the treatment provided is not consistent with the generally accepted or prevailing standard of care. Medicine is a self-policing profession meaning that doctors are charged with the responsibility to police themselves. If you or a family member are receiving Subsys but do not have cancer, then you may have a claim against your doctor for care that does not meet the standard of care.
As mentioned above, Subsys was only narrowly approved by the FDA for “breakthrough cancer pain.” Again, this is cancer pain that cannot be reliably controlled with long-action or time-released pain medications. Such “off-label” use of Subsys may be medically improper and legally actionable.
Many patients receiving Subsys have received significantly higher doses within a short period of time. If you or a loved one has taken Subsys and your doctor substantially increased your dose shortly after you began taking the medication, then the increase in dosage that you received may have been improper. Such increases in dosage may be related to financial incentives provided by the manufacturer of Subsys to employees or the network of physicians who prescribe Subsys.
Even if you have breakthrough cancer pain, your prescription or dosing for Subsys may be inappropriate for your circumstances and may be leading to a destruction addiction.
Opioid Addiction Is Serious
Signs to look for include those of opioid addiction, extreme lethargy, extreme feelings of craving, profuse sweating, shallow breathing, slurred speech, organ damage, and death. Opioid addiction can have a significant impact on the quality of your life and may have negative effects on your personal relationships and finances.
Get Help With Your Claim From An Attorney Handling Subsys Claims
If you or a loved one is taking Subsys and you suspect anything described above, you should contact a Subsys class action, medical malpractice, or product liability attorney to discuss whether you have a case. Your case may be based in medical malpractice against your doctor or may be against the manufacturer, Insys Therapeutics, Inc.
Subsys cases are handled on a contingency fee basis with no fees or costs unless money is recovered for you. To get help, call to schedule your free consultation with an attorney today.