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Arizona AG files consumer fraud lawsuit against Insys founder, execs

In this Jan. 30, 2019, file photo, Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor leaves federal court in Boston. The Justice Department says opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics has agreed to pay $225 million to settle federal criminal and civil investigations. The settlement announced Wednesday, June 5, 2019 includes a five-year deferred prosecution agreement. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against former executives of a Chandler-based opioid manufacturer, alleging they engaged in a fraudulent marketing scheme that increased the sales of the company’s highly addictive opioid prescription drug that contains fentanyl.

The lawsuit against Insys founder John Kapoor and two of his former executives alleges they violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by instructing employees to provide false and misleading information to insurers in order to secure prescriptions of fentanyl-laced Subsys for patients, according to a press release.

The lawsuit asks for restitution for consumers, the surrender of all profits from the alleged conduct and an injunction to ban Kapoor and his executives from marketing or selling pharmaceuticals in Arizona.

“It’s important that government doesn’t interfere with doctor-patient relationships and the ability for individuals to adequately manage their pain,” Brnovich said in the release.

“However, when pharmaceutical companies engage in unethical and greedy behavior that helps fuel the opioid crisis in our state, they must be held accountable.”

Insys employees were instructed to mislead insurance companies by telling them patients who were prescribed Subsys had cancer when they did not, according to the lawsuit.

Insys Lawsuit by KTAR News on Scribd

Insys executives also told employees to bribe health care providers with “lucrative fees” in exchange for doctors writing more prescriptions of Subsys, the lawsuit says.

Insys has sold over $1 billion worth of Subsys to date, according to the press release.

Brnovich also filed a lawsuit in 2017 against Insys. Since then, the company has admitted to bribing doctors, filed for bankruptcy and pleaded guilty to federal charges.

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