BALTIMORE — Maryland authorities announced charges Thursday against an Arizona-based drugmaker that they say engaged in a nationwide scheme “characterized by extraordinary misconduct” to boost profits amid the coast-to-coast opioid epidemic.

The office of Attorney General Brian Frosh filed charges against Insys Therapeutics alleging multiple violations of the state’s consumer protection law. The pharmaceutical company makes a highly addictive opioid spray used to manage uncontrollable pain for adult cancer patients, but Frosh says Insys joined with local health care providers in a “calculated scheme” to target non-cancer patients, including those seeking relief from knee or back pain.

More than 90 percent of the spray-based Subsys prescriptions written or filed in Maryland were actually for people who never should have been taking the potent medication made with the synthetic opioid fentanyl, according to the state’s attorney general.

“The allegations against Insys describe a calculated scheme employing doctors, pharmacists, and sales reps to increase profits and market share at the expense of the health and well-being of vulnerable patients,” Frosh said in a statement.

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