The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk are no longer investigating or reviewing potential lawsuits overdose or death with the Actiq Lollipop.
The information on this page is provided for information purposes only.
The manufacturer of the Actiq lollipop has been accused of heavily promoting the pain killer for uses which have not been approved by the FDA. This has lead to an increased risk of serious and potentially fatal injuries as a result of fentanyl overdose.
The Actiq lollipop is a very powerful narcotic, which is extremely addictive. Given the increased risk of overdose and death, the FDA only approved use of the drug for cancer patients who were unable to relieve severe pain with other medications.
Actiq off-label uses have included treatment of chronic back pain, knee injuries and severe headaches. Estimates have indicated that over 80% of Actiq users do not have cancer. As a result of this widespread use of the narcotic, many users have suffered a fatal overdose which could have been prevented if a different pain medications had been used.
The Fentanyl lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously reviewed potential Actiq overdose lawsuits on behalf of people who have were killed by the powerful pain drug. However, after reviewing the potential litigation, new cases and clients are no longer being accepted.
ACTIQ LOLLIPOP OVERDOSE INVESTIGATIONS
Although drug manufacturers are prohibited by federal regulations from actively promoting non-approved uses or encouraging doctors to prescribe a medication for “off-label” uses, Actiq sales representatives have marketed the lollipop pain killer to all types of doctors, not just oncologists. Accusations have been raised that the pain killer was promoted to doctors such as general practitioners and sports injury doctors, even if they were not likely to treat severe cancer-related pain.
There have been several reported deaths from Actiq lollipop overdoses. This has lead to several state and federal investigations into the marketing practices of the manufacturer, Cephalon, Inc. The Connecticut attorney general has been investigating the promotional practices for over two years, and investigations are also currently pending with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia and the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations.
There have been allegations that the manufacturer set unrealistic sales goals for their representatives. Many of these goals could only be reached if the sales representatives promoted the narcotic lollipop for “off-label” uses. The manufacturer has also allegedly pushed doctors to prescribe more lollipops with higher doses than had been previously been indicated as safe. This was done for the sole purpose of increasing profits, even if it was at the expense of consumer safety.
As a result of the overpromotion and “off-label” uses, Actiq sales are on target to exceed $600 million during 2006 in the United States. It has been estimated that over 80% of the prescriptions are for non-cancer patients. The manufacturer, Cephalon Inc., has admitted that they directed sales representatives to approach a broad range of doctors about the Actiq lollipop, many of whom have nothing to do with treating cancer patients.
ACTIQ LOLLIPOP ABUSE
The prescription of Actiq pain lollipops for “off-label” uses to treat chronic back pain and headaches has caused many users to develop serious addictions and suffer potentially fatal overdoses.
In June 2004 the United States Department of Justice issued an intelligence alert regarding abuse of the Actiq lollipop. They indicated that individuals may be prone to abuse the drug due to the ease of obtaining a fix through the candy-like lollipop. Users who would otherwise be hesitant to take a pill, snort a powder or inject a drug, could be drawn to the raspberry flavored lollipop. Actiq has been referred to by street users as the “perc-o-pop”.
The attorneys at Saiontz and Kirk, P.A. are no longer reviewing potential Actiq wrongful death lawsuits for families who have lost a loved one as a result of an overdose after the fentanyl lollipop was prescribed off-label for treatment of non-cancer pain.