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posted by martyb on Thursday January 31 2019, @07:59PM   Printer-friendly
from the save-the-last-[lap]-dance-for-me?? dept.

Insys exec allegedly gave lap dance to doctor while pushing deadly opioid

A former regional sales director for Insys Therapeutics allegedly gave a lap dance to a doctor as the company was pushing him to prescribe its deadly opioid painkiller to patients. That's according to multiple reports of testimony given Tuesday from a former Insys colleague in a federal court in Boston.

The testimony is part of a federal racketeering trial getting underway this week against Insys founder John Kapoor and four former executives, including the sales director, Sunrise Lee. Federal prosecutors allege that the Insys executives used bribes and kickbacks to get doctors to prescribe the company's powerful and addictive fentanyl spray, called Subsys—which was intended only for cancer patients experiencing pain that's not alleviated by other medications (aka "breakthrough pain"). The former executives are also accused of misleading and defrauding health insurance companies that ended up covering the drug for patients who did not need it. A congressional investigation in 2017 concluded that Insys sales representatives bluntly lied and tricked insurers to do that—and the investigators released the tapes to prove it.

Previously: Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan
The More Opioids Doctors Prescribe, the More Money They Make

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 31 2019, @08:11PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 31 2019, @08:11PM (#794680)

    Why do I get the sense there is no blame being placed on the healthcare providers?

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  • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Thursday January 31 2019, @10:06PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Thursday January 31 2019, @10:06PM (#794729)

    It's kind of a "reverse Weinstein".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01 2019, @03:12PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01 2019, @03:12PM (#795041)

    Because the healthcare providers are not at fault for the opioid crisis, maybe?????

    Maybe if you were the one in genuine chronic or extreme pain you'd be grateful for a little relief from it. Maybe providers don't push opiates unless someone is in chronic or extreme pain or is immediately expected to be (you don't wait for an "Ow" for someone who just had open heart surgery, for example).

    Maybe opioids require at least 30 days exposure before actual physical dependence kicks in? And maybe patients are told things like, "Your doctor is prescribing this for your pain. It is important to take it exactly as directed. Use of opioids as they are prescribed does not generally cause addiction, however, use of them off prescription does."

    Fentanyl is not the devil. Uncontrolled use of it is. And medicine actively continues to build knowledge to use it more wisely (take, for example, the rise of statewide opioid prescription databases - now if we could go national with that).

    That said, one thing that I can think of that might help the crisis out a little is if pharmacies and healthcare providers accepted surpluses back and held patients prescribed them accountable.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01 2019, @04:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01 2019, @04:45PM (#795067)

      If doctors just blindly believe whatever a pharmaceutical rep tells them then they should be replaced by algorithms. There is really no other point to a doctor.