Cephalon had already been criticized for its inappropriate and aggressive marketing techniques when it sent a “Dear Doctor” letter to physicians warning them about the possible side effects in Fentora. These side effects include 4 deaths, one a suicide. Actiq and Fentora were approved for cancer patients only. Yet, as we’ve seen before, the drugs are marketed more broadly than their intended use. According to the Wall St. Journal, “Fentora is a fast-acting form of fentanyl, which is also the active ingredient in Actiq, now a generic. Like Fentora, Actiq is approved only for use in cancer patients — but one analysis found that 80% of the patients who received Actiq didn’t have cancer, the WSJ reported last year.”
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