Actiq, is a narcotic in the form of a berry-flavored lozenge on a stick. The powerful drug looks and tastes like a lollipop. The drug is only approved for use in cancer patients, suffering intense pain not relieved by other narcotics. However, Actiq is being prescribed by many doctors for off-label use. While off-label use is not illegal, drug companies are prohibited from marketing their drugs for off-label use. Cephalon, Inc., based in a Philadelphia suburb, is the maker of Actiq, and pitches the drug to a variety of doctors, not just oncologists, even providing coupons for free samples. Fentanyl is an ingredient in Actiq, which has a high potential for abuse and risk of fatal overdose. According to Cephalon, Actiq has been associated with 127 deaths. The company is being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia for its marketing practices.
Comments are closed.