Insys under investigation for off label marketing of Subsys pain killer

Insys Therapuetics has been issued a subpoena from the Office of Inspector General for documents concerning its sales and marketing practices.  The company makes and sells a strong narcotic drug called Subsys, a form of Fentanyl which was approved by the FDA in 2012 for cancer patients.

Sales of the drug, however, have jumped and according to the New York Times, former Insys sales reps have said that the company has aggressively marketed the painkiller to physicians who don’t treat cancer patients and that the sales force makes higher commissions for selling higher doses of the drug.

Fentanyl products like Subsys have been broadly prescribed and in 2008 a company called Cephalon pleaded guilty to a criminal charge paying $425 million in fines for illegal marketing of its product Actiq, a fentanyl lollipop.