BOSTON — A Massachusetts pharmaceutical company accused of misleading doctors about the risks of its opioid product has agreed to pay $185,000 and will stop marketing to prescribers in-person, state Attorney General Maura Healey announced Thursday.
Collegium Pharmaceutical agreed to the settlement after Healey’s office found that it marketed its Xtampza product as a safe and responsible alternative to other opioids, even though it has the same active ingredient as Oxycontin and other opioids.
Investigators found that Collegium sales representatives arranged face-to-face meetings with physicians and other medical workers to promote the drug more than 5,000 times since May 2016. Healey’s office says the representatives made misleading claims about the drug’s risks and improperly marketed it to treat acute pain.
“Drug companies should not be going into doctors’ offices deceptively marketing addictive drugs as we work to combat a growing opioid epidemic in our state,” Healey said in a statement.
The company, based in Stoughton, Massachusetts, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Under the settlement, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Collegium also said it will no longer sponsor “speaker programs” in which physicians promote Xtampza to other health care workers. The company used that tactic prior to 2018, Healey said.
Collegium also will be required to publicly disclose information about the doses of its opioids that are sold each quarter.
Most of the $185,000 payment will go to the state’s Local Consumer Aid Fund, the Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchase Trust Fund and the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund, according to Healey’s office.