Cephalon warns docs of Fentora death link

Share this article:

Drug maker Cephalon this week issued a warning to doctors about deaths linked to its powerful painkiller Fentora, the FDA said.

Cephalon spokeswoman Candace Steele told Reuters news service that three deaths occurred during a fairly short period of time this summer and that they were most likely caused by respiratory failure.

The deaths were reported to have occurred in cases where Fentora was given to patients unable to tolerate opioid therapy, or in patients getting the drug inappropriately as a substitution for another drug, such as Fentora predecessor Actiq.

Fentora and Actiq, are approved by the FDA only for use in cancer patients, but are known to be prescribed by doctors as an “off-label” treatment for conditions such as headaches and back pain.

Cephalon's marketing practices involving the two drugs are currently under investigation in three separate probes – investigations by the US attorney in Philadelphia and Connecticut attorney general and a congressional probe into off-label treatments.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders


Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Channel

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: ...

Pharma has sought 76 meetings with FDA over biosimilars; Gilead licenses Sovaldi to India generic drugmakers; Pfizer and Ranbaxy Lipitor lawsuit dismissed.

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Why Novo Nordisk is choosing not to leverage Victoza's brand equity as it seeks a weight-loss indication for liraglutide.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, ...

An FDA panel voted in favor of liraglutide for weight loss; Allergan investors backing an attempted takeover of the firm crossed a critical threshold; and 100 million health wearables are ...