Some former executives at Insys Therapeutics have been charged in a kickback scheme that involved bribing clinicians to unnecessarily prescribe pain medications.
The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday arrested six former executives at the Phoenix, Ariz.-based pharmaceutical company. They are accused of bribing practitioners to prescribe a fentanyl-based painkiller called Subsys. The cancer drug was allegedly prescribed to “many” patients who didn't actually have cancer.
The DOJ also alleges that the former executives defrauded health insurers to approve payment of the drug for non-cancer patients by receiving prior authorization directly from them and pharmacy benefit managers.
“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 U.S. Attorney of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz.
In a prepared statement, Insys Therapeutics said, “Insys continues to cooperate with all relevant authorities in its ongoing investigations and is committed to complying with laws and regulations that govern our products and business practices. Insys will not provide additional information or comments at this time on this matter.”