Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Former Insys Therapeutics Executives Charged in Fentanyl Pushing Scheme

XTALKS VITALS NEWS

Drugs

While the opioid drug is only approved for the treatment of cancer pain, the executives are accused of paying doctors to prescribe the drug for other, unapproved indications.

Share this!

December 12, 2016 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

After a year of investigation, six former executives of Insys Therapeutics – including former CEO, Michael Babich – have been arrested on charges of bribing physicians to prescribe the company’s fentanyl-based painkiller, Subsys. While the opioid drug is only approved for the treatment of cancer pain, the executives are accused of paying doctors to prescribe the drug for other, unapproved indications.

In addition to the ex-CEO, the former national director of sales, former VP of sales, former VP of managed markets and two former regional sales directors were all arrested in connection with the bribery scheme. The US Attorney's Office of the District of Massachusetts announced the arrests of the former executives of the Arizona-based Insys last week.

The executives are also accused of conspiring to defraud health insurance providers, who would only pay for the drug when it was prescribed to patients diagnosed with cancer. They overcame this roadblock by allegedly establishing a reimbursement unit, aimed at securing authorization from payers and pharmacy benefit managers before the drugs were prescribed.

“Patient safety is paramount and prescriptions for these highly addictive drugs, especially fentanyl, which is among the most potent and addictive opioids, should be prescribed without the influence of corporate money,” said US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “I hope that today’s charges send a clear message that we will continue to attack the opioid epidemic from all angles, whether it is corporate greed or street level dealing.”



Prescribing opioid drugs is being taken very seriously in the US where the medications are being linked to addiction, overdose and deaths. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 650,000 opioid prescriptions are filled every day in the US.

Opioid-related deaths have been on the rise, with the majority of fatalities being linked to abuse of the powerful painkillers. Opioid abuse costs US healthcare and social systems $55 billion, each year.

“We take allegations of paying kickbacks to physicians in exchange for prescribing medically unnecessary painkillers extremely seriously,” said Special Agent in Charge Phillip Coyne of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. “Working closely with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to protect the health of Medicare beneficiaries and the integrity of the nation’s healthcare system.”


Keywords: Opioid, Prescriptions, Payers


| NEXT ARTICLE | MORE NEWS | BLOGS | VIDEOS | POLLS & QUIZZES | WEBINARS |

Share this with your colleagues!

MORE NEWS
Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act Supports Clinical Trial Enrollment, Says Study

July 20, 2017 - Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, insurance approval for patients wishing to participate in oncology clinical trials has increased, according to a recent study published in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research.

Featured In: Clinical Trial News


FDA Approves Puma Biotechnology’s Extended Adjuvant Therapy for Breast

July 19, 2017 - Puma Biotechnology’s breast cancer drug Nerlynx (neratinib) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Featured In: Biotech News


CAR-T Cell Therapy Shows Promise as Leukemia Treatment in Early Stage Clinical Trial

July 19, 2017 - About 70 percent of clinical trial participants with chronic lymphocytic leukemia experienced tumor shrinkage after being treated with CAR-T immunotherapy, according to researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Featured In: Clinical Trial News


LEAVE A COMMENT
 
  
THE XTALKS VITALS INDUSTRY BLOG

Manufacturing Control Strategies: What Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies Need to Know

REGISTER FOR THESE WEBINARS

Outsourcing Pharmacovigilance: Pros and Cons and Lessons Learned


EDC and eSource: Combined for Better Data and Faster Insights


Using Model Reduction to Bridge the Quality Systems Pharmacology-Pharmacometrics Divide


How to Maximize Your Non-GLP Toxicology Studies: A Guide for Optimal Design and Methodology


Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.