Skip to NavigationSkip to content


Judge overseeing Purdue Pharma bankruptcy approves $1.3 million bonus for CEO

Purdue Pharma’s CEO Craig Landau can receive a $1.3 million bonus, ruled a judge.

Judge Robert Drain said the company was justified in giving Landau the bonus as it would keep him as CEO of the company.

Connecticut and the 23 other non-consenting states who have not agreed to settlement terms with Purdue, had strongly opposed the bonus.

Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor found guilty of bribing doctors

The founder of opioid drugmaker Insys Therapeutics has been found guilty of bribing doctors in order to persuade them to prescribe the fentanyl-based painkiller Subsys.

A Boston jury found John Kapoor guilty of racketeering conspiracy after the billionaire pharma chief was found to have bribed doctors and defrauded insurance companies, as part of an effort to boost sales of the sublingual fentanyl spray Subsys.

While Subsys had been approved for patients with terminal cancer, the company targeted patients with non-life threatening chronic pain.

UK launches drug testing service for illicit drugs

The UK Home Office have licensed a drug-checking service for users of illicit substances. The yearlong pilot project, run by the charity Addaction, will allow anyone over the age of 18 to have their drugs tested.

The tests take ten minutes, during which period, users will be asked to complete a short questionnaire.

FDA controversially approves potent opioid up to ten times stronger than fentanyl

Despite voices of criticism, the FDA has opted to approve AcelRX’s Dsuvia (sufentanil), an opioid medication said to be five to ten times stronger than fentanyl, for the management of severe, acute pain at a time when the US teeters amidst an addiction epidemic which has claimed the lives of over 71,000 throughout 2017.

The approval decision comes after an advisory committee voted 10-3 in favour of recommending the drug, despite an FDA staff report released prior to the vote questioning its therapeutic benefit compared to other available treatments.

Fentanyl execution gets go-ahead in federal court

The first execution in the United States using the powerful opioid fentanyl, is set to take place in Nebraska on Tuesday after a federal court blocked appeals from the German healthcare company Fresenius Kabi.

The federal court granted approval for the execution of Carey Dean Moore who has been on death row since 1979 in relation to the murder of two taxi drivers in Omaha. The execution which was given the go-ahead on Monday of this week is set to be the first execution in Nebraska since 1997.

Letters to doctors reduce opioid prescriptions, study shows

A study has shown that Doctors who received a letter from the medical examiner’s office informing them of their patient’s fatal overdoses, prescribed fewer opioids.

In order to conduct the study, researchers involved used a database of 861 healthcare professionals who had prescribed opioids and other risky medications to those who had subsequently died of overdoses involving prescription medicines. More than 400 of those professionals listed on the database were sent so-called ‘Dear Doctor’ letters, through which they were informed that their patients had died of overdoses.

Insys Therapeutics reaches $150m agreement to settle opioid marketing case

The Arizona-based pharma company Insys Therapeutics has reached an agreement to pay $150 million to the US Department of Justice in order to settle criminal and civil investigations into inappropriate sales and commercial practices by former company employees.

The terms of the agreement call for the opioid drug maker to pay $150 million over five years.  The settlement agreement also covered the potential for an additional $75 million contingency based payments.

Fentanyl-related deaths spike in England and Wales

Deaths linked to the powerful opioid fentanyl have increased by 30% in England and Wales.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that fatalities caused by the potent synthetic opioid increased by 30% from 58 deaths in 2016 to 75 deaths in 2017.

The narcotic drug, which can be 100 times more potent than heroin, has been known to cause accidental overdoses in users of heroin and other less powerful opioids who are unaware that the drugs they are taking have been mixed with fentanyl and other similar analogues.

Illegally manufactured fentanyl drives deaths in Ontario

Toronto, Ontario skyline

Illicit forms of the powerful opioid fentanyl have been driving increased rates of opioid-related deaths in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Of the 1,263 opioid related deaths that occurred in Ontario last year, 68% involved fentanyl compared to 45% in 2016. Illegally produced, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl was responsible for 78% of deaths related to the powerful synthetic opioid, which can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. 

Facebook takes action against drug peddlers on Instagram

Facebook can’t catch a break at the moment, after being widely criticised for its practices over the security of users’ data, it is back in the headlights after a campaign began to stop users selling prescription drugs over its platforms.

The outcry began over the ease with which users were able to post on Instagram advertising certain prescription drugs by using hashtags, such as #Oxycotin, #Fentanyl and other similar hashtags. In such posts, users were able to point viewers towards their encrypted chat details to follow-up and buy drugs.

Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches