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Insys prosecution continues: NY doc takes plea deal

| Mar 5, 2019 | Health Care Investigations |

The government continues to pursue Insys related healthcare fraud investigations. Insys Therapeutics (Insys), a pharmaceutical giant, is known for manufacturing Subsys, a fentanyl-based spray used for management of severe pain suffered by cancer patients.

According to the government, Insys created a culture that encouraged fraudulent use of the powerful, addictive medication for financial gain. The government has gathered evidence of lavish meals and social affairs allegedly used to encourage physicians to increase their prescriptions of this medication.

In the most recent update to the government’s ongoing efforts targeting this industry, a physician who specialized in pain management and anesthesiology at a large Manhattan hospital faced allegations of criminal activity connected to prescribing this medication.

The government gathered the following evidence to support claims of wrongdoing:

  • Speaker fees. The prosecution states the accused received over $68,000 in fees from Insys in exchange for presenting at educational speaking engagements. The government claims these engagements were often social affairs with no educational value used to encourage physicians to prescribe the medication.
  • Personal connection. In addition to encouraging the physician to prescribe the medication himself, Insys also hired the physician’s girlfriend as a sales representative for the drug. The woman received a large commission based on the number of physicians within her group that assigned the drug. The government states this additional person connection serves as further proof of wrongdoing.
  • Questionable prescriptions. The government also states the physician’s increase in Subsys prescriptions from zero in 2014 to one of the highest prescribers in the nation in 2015 provides further proof of criminal activity.

The physician chose to accept a plea deal with the government. In exchange for pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute the government will forgo additional charges.

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