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Report: Drug company faked cancer patients to sell drug

Published: September 9, 2017
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Source: Reuters

Insys Therapeutics Inc sought to manipulate insurance payment approval for an opioid cancer pain drug called Subsys even if for inappropriate uses, according to a U.S. Senate report on the opioid crisis released on Wednesday.

The report, released by Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, said those efforts led to an Insys employee making misleading statements to get insurance to cover a prescription for a woman who according to a lawsuit died after taking Subsys.

The report was the first by McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to flow out of her investigation into drugmakers’ roles in the national opioid addiction epidemic.

The report came amid a series of federal and state investigations centered on the marketing of Subsys, an under-the-tongue spray intended for cancer patients that contains fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a man-made opioid that is 100 times more powerful than morphine.

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