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posted by n1 on Thursday December 29 2016, @11:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the your-local-drug-dealers dept.

Six former executives and managers from Arizona-based drugmaker, Insys Therapeutics, face conspiracy charges over what a federal prosecutor calls a "racketeering crime." In this case, according to the indictment, the former employees of the drug manufacturer are alleged to have rewarded doctors for prescribing their spray version of the opiate fentanyl, even when it wasn't medically appropriate.

[...] Three years ago on CNBC, Michael Babich demonstrated the company's drug, "Subsys," a prescription pain reliever for cancer patients which is delivered through a spray. The medication, which the company first sold in 2012, racked up $329 milllion in sales last year. "The device that I brought with me today allows the patient to simply with no priming spray the drug underneath their tongue," Babich explained.

According to the indictment, the defendants "conspired with one another to use bribes and kickbacks" for doctors who "wrote large numbers of... prescriptions, most often for patients who did not have cancer." The scheme allegedly funneled tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to practitioners, including one whom a sales representative boasted in an email was running "a very shady pill mill and only accepts cash."

Source: CBS News

Original Submission

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Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan 98 comments

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem." – President Donald J. Trump

President Trump has declared the "Opioid Crisis" a nationwide public health emergency. This action will allow for "expanded access to telemedicine services" to remotely prescribe medicines for substance abuse, allow the Department of Health and Human Services to "more quickly make temporary appointments of specialists with the tools and talent needed to respond effectively to our Nation's ongoing public health emergency", allow the Department of Labor to issue dislocated worker grants for those "displaced from the workforce" due to the Opioid Crisis, and will help people with HIV/AIDS to receive substance abuse treatment. The press release lists several actions that the Trump Administration has taken to respond to the Opioid Crisis, including the July 2017 law enforcement action against AlphaBay.

The declaration has been criticized for not requesting any funds to respond to the Crisis. The "nationwide public health emergency" declaration is also distinct from a promised "national emergency declaration", which would have freed up money from the Disaster Relief Fund to be spent on the Crisis. 14 Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would authorize $45 billion to address the Opioid Crisis. The Obama Administration called on Congress last year to pass just over $1 billion in funding for opioid treatment programs nationwide. This funding was included in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Department of Justice has arrested and charged the founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc., John Kapoor, along with other executives from his company. Kapoor is accused with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and illegally distribute the company's fentanyl spray, intended for cancer patients, so that it could be prescribed for non-cancer patients. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January. Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said, "Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit. Today's arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable - just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer." Six former Insys executives and managers were charged in December.

[takyon: a262 would like you to know that Insys Therapeutics donated $500,000 to help defeat Arizona's 2016 ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational use of cannabis.]

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 30 2016, @02:50AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 30 2016, @02:50AM (#447250) Journal

    FFS, with drugs, doctors all over the US are given kickbacks for pushing certain brands. My own doctor gets a little bit of that kickback. He'll admit, if you ask him, that he does push a little. The people with money, and crazy expectations of drugs come in, and insist on this or that advertised miracle drug. He'll sell them the drugs they beg for, and he gets a little money back. Not the kind of money he could get, if he really got to pushing, though.

    Raise your hands - how many of you have been given a specially wrapped for doctor's office use only drug at some point in time? In it's simplest form that is a bribe right there. The salesman gave the doctor 10, 50, or 100 samples of the shit to give away, to induce the doctor to buy and push those drugs. Cash money need not even change hands - you push xxx pills per month, we'll give you yy% discount on your supplies. At it's worst, cash money does change hands. A good pusher - err, doctor - can make thousands per month.

    There's a lot of money in drugs, and accountability isn't nearly strict enough.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30 2016, @04:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 30 2016, @04:59AM (#447290)

      accountability isn't nearly strict enough

      There is a lot of political pressure against government regulation of medical decisions and free speech (about drugs). The pressure comes from all sides: pharmaceutical lobbiests, professional medical societies, small government proponents, left-wing anti vaccine people, right wing anti STD-vaccine people, "right to try" people, and all the people that fall for the "ask your doctor about [drug we're trying to convince you to take]".

      If we can't even get rid of direct-to-patient prescription drug advertising, then how are we going to limit "informational seminars" in Hawaii or invited speeches at conferences in Paris to discuss successful "case studies"?