Arizona AG Files Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Against Insys Founder, Former Executives

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 8:34am
Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 11:19am
Jean Clare Sarmiento/KJZZ
Insys Therapeutics is based in Chandler.

Arizona's attorney general filed a lawsuit Wednesday against three former executives of opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics Inc. The Chandler-based based company has already pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges, and filed for bankruptcy.

Arizona's lawsuit alleges three defendants, including the company's founder, directed Insys employees to provide insurers with false information to increase prescriptions of Subsys — a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. It was approved by the FDA for specific cancer pain. Insys employees allegedly were instructed to mislead insurers into believing that patients who were prescribed Subsys had cancer, when in fact they did not. All three executives either have pleaded guilty or been found guilty of federal felony charges related to the state’s complaint.

To date, Insys has sold over $1 billion worth of Subsys. Brnovich is seeking remedies that include restitution for consumers, disgorgement of all profits from the alleged conduct, and an injunction to ban the three defendants from marketing or selling pharmaceuticals in Arizona.

The lawsuit mirrors those filed several of state attorney's general and follows a 2017 lawsuit by Arizona's attorney general against Insys and two other former Insys employees for engaging in a fraudulent marketing scheme. Since then, Insys has admitted that it bribed doctors, pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges, and filed for bankruptcy.

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