Sadly – it’s something that happens with alarming frequency.
Now Insys Therapeutics Inc., the U.S. corporation that manufactures the extremely powerful and highly addictive opioid fentanyl, is under investigation on charges that executives at the company bribed doctors in the U.S. to aggressively prescribe the drug.
Indictments have been issued to six executives at the company including the CEO, Michael Babich, and the former Executive VP of Sales, Alex Burlakoff.
The version of fentanyl in question in this case is called Subsys – a spray variant of fentanyl approved for managing severe cancer pain.
With a raging epidemic of opioid addiction sweeping the country, law enforcement officials have worked to attack the problem from multiple angles – including looking at the role big drug companies are playing in creating the problem in the first place.
The indictment alleges that Babich, 40, and four other defendants hatched a scheme to bribe physicians to push large numbers of Subsys prescriptions, often to non-cancer patients.
The bribes were frequently disguised as “marketing event” and “speaker fee.”
The indictments of the full six Insys’ executives additionally claims that Babich and others created a scheme to mislead insurers into authorizing payment for the drug, many of whom were reluctant to approve payment for Subsys for patients without cancer.
Here are a number of sad facts…