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A Fentanyl Lawsuit

By Breyer Law Offices on September 14, 2017

With the unfolding opioid crisis in the United States, many doctors are trying to find a way to combat it through different treatments. But in Arizona, at least three doctors have found a way to profit from the epidemic, and are now at the center of a lawsuit because of it.

The Case

The state of Arizona has filed a lawsuit against a major pharmaceutical company over one of their drugs. Subsys is an oral spray that’s administered just under the tongue in cancer patients to help them with chronic pain. It’s a fentanyl-based medication. The state claims that the company bribed doctors into prescribing Subsys unnecessarily.

These “bribes” were given as speaker fees about twice a month for four years to at least three doctors in Arizona. Coincidentally, the number of Subsys prescriptions given by these doctors increased from an average of nine a month to 62 a month at around the same time they started receiving speaker fees. Doctors who prescribed Subsys but did NOT receive speaker fees wrote, on average, less than 14 prescriptions for the drug every month.

In this Subsys lawsuit, it’s alleged that the doctors also lied about certain patients having cancer so that they could be prescribed the drug.

The Legal Ramifications

The case could cover a number of different areas of law. Criminal law could enter into it, as pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to offer bribes and doctors are certainly not allowed to accept them. But as a civil case, it could encompass both product liability and medical malpractice. Under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, companies are not allowed to falsely market or advertise their product (which this company may have done by bribing doctors into ordering more of the product than needed).

But the doctors could also have claims filed against them by individual patients. A medical malpractice case can find out if the doctors were negligent, or acted carelessly or recklessly, and that caused serious harm to their patients.

At Breyer Law Offices, P.C., we have experience in product liability and medical malpractice law. If you or a loved one has been injured by a doctor or a pharmaceutical company, contact us today at (602) 267-1280. These cases can be complicated and lengthy, so we want to get started helping you with yours today.

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