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Kentucky AG Going After 9th Opioid Maker, Hails Efforts As 'Most Aggressive' In Nation

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Josh James
/
WUKY

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is launching a ninth lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company he argues helped fuel the state’s opioid epidemic. 

"This lawsuit makes Kentucky the most aggressive state in pursuing these companies in the nation," the top law enforcement official said Monday. 

Insys Therapeudics is the latest company added to the growing list of drug manufacturers targeted by Beshear’s office. The Democrat says the Arizona-based opioid maker promoted a fentanyl-based mouth spray, Subsys, for off-label use, knowing the potential for abuse.

The charges go on to suggest Insys fraudulently required insurance coverage approvals, encouraged unlawful and deceitful conduct among its salesforce, and gave kickbacks to doctors.

"According to our complaint, Insys stressed the importance of 'owning doctors,' which meant that the sales representative monitoring and controlled those doctors' prescribing behavior," Beshear added. 

For its part, Insys defended its promotion of Subsys against similar charges in New York, saying it made up a “very small percentage” of opioid prescriptions in that state.

The company’s founder and other executives were indicted and arrested in 2017.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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