McKeen & Associates, PC
Call Today for a Free Consultation
866-585-1076 | 313-447-0634

Doctors have responsibilities in prescribing risky drugs, P.1

Physicians have a big responsibility when it comes to the promotion and prescription of medications for the benefit of their patients. Because of the way medical care is delivered, patients rely on their doctors to recommend the most beneficial course of treatment, without reference to personal gain. Unfortunately, the system doesn't always work that way.

A good example of this can be seen with Subsys, a commonly used medical spray containing the pain killer Fentanyl. The drug is manufactured by Insys Therapeutics Inc., and is the only spray version of Fentanyl available on the market. Subsys is indicated only for cancer pain, but is often prescribed to manage other forms of pain, such as back pain. This is problematic, given the risks associated with the drug and its intended use. 

While doctors can get into trouble quite easily for writing prescriptions for drugs that have been marketed for an off-label use, they are permitted to prescribe drugs for off-label use in certain situations. The problem with prescribing Subsys for off-label uses is that there are many people who don't tolerate opioids well. Thousands of people die every year from using prescription opioids. In addition, Subsys is actually contraindicated for those with headache and back pain, and yet there are a large number of patients using the drug for exactly that purpose.

This fact has not escaped the notice of federal authorities, but even with the tight controls around the drug, it has been reported in connection with a fair number of adverse events. Since January of 2012, the drug was referenced in connection with 63 adverse events, and that number is likely to be low due to underreporting.

One issue, in all of this, is what liability doctors have for prescribing the drug. We'll talk a closer look at this issue in our next post. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Consultations | No Fee Unless We Win

Email us or call us at 866-585-1076 to discuss your medical malpractice case. There is no cost, no obligation and never a fee unless we are successful. You have nothing to lose by learning your rights and options today.

Email Us for A Response

Contact the Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Detroit Office
Penobscot Building, 645 Griswold Street, Suite 4200
Detroit, MI 48226

Toll Free: 866-585-1076
Phone: 313-447-0634
Fax: 313-961-5985
Detroit Office Map

Ohio Office
315 East Main Street
Suite A
Ottawa, OH 45875

Phone: 269-220-3379
Ohio Office Map

Phone Numbers