Drug company executives arrested for bribing doctors to write prescriptions

Insys Therapeutics threw a party for a Florida doctor to convince him to sell more of their drug.
By Miriam Griffin | Dec 08, 2016
Insys Therapeutics threw a party for a Florida doctor to convince him to sell more of their drug.

Executives at Insys, which produces the powerful painkiller drug, Subsys, which is a legal form of the opioid, fentanyl, invited the doctor to their headquarters outside of Phoenix, Arizona. They took the doctor out to party at a club and stayed out until approximately four o'clock in the morning.

"Went fantastic last night," read a text message from a regional sales manager to one of the sales representatives at Insys."He had to have had one of the best nights of his life."

The next week, that doctor wrote 17 Subsys prescriptions to patients. Before the night out with the Insys executives, the doctor only wrote an average of three Subsys prescriptions per week. He also agreed to take part in an Insys speaking program for which he was paid $260,050 over a three year period.

Federal prosecutors announced in a 60 page indictment released on Thursday allegations that the Florida doctor, along with several other medical practitioners, had been bribed by Insys in order to boost sales of Subsys. On Thursday, six Insys executives and sales managers were arrested for their part in the alleged bribery scheme.

There have been speculations that Insys started the scheme in order to keep Subsys competitive. The drug, which was launched in March of 2012, was only approved for cancer patients with extreme pain. Less than2,000 doctors in 2012 prescribed fentanyl products.

 

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