AP; Feb. 2, 2009
Court documents link a Kansas physician accused in 59 overdose deaths to a pharmaceutical company that illegally marketed drugs for non-approved uses.
Frazer, Pa.-based Cephalon Inc. is one of the world's biggest biopharmaceutical makers, and it makes a painkiller medication called Actiq. It's approved only for use by end-of-life cancer patients.
Cephalon agreed last year to pay a $425 million settlement in Pennsylvania after prosecutors said the firm illegally marketed Actiq for unapproved uses.
Prosecutors say Dr. Stephen Schneider of Wichita prescribed the drug to 70 patients without valid medical reasons. Some patients later died.
An Associated Press review of case documents show a connection between Schneider and the illegal way Cephalon promoted its medications.
The family of an El Dorado, Kan., woman sued Schneider and Cephalon for her death, which followed a prescription she was given for Actiq to treat her migraines.