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Busted: Drug Company Gets Caught Exploiting Cancer Patients

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Busted: Drug Company Gets Caught Exploiting Cancer Patients

in 2012, Insys Therapeutics got approval to sell an ultra powerful opioid for cancer patients with acute pain.

The only problem was that is very expensive, and most cancer patients cannot afford it, unless they got a prescription approved in advance. That process is known as “prior-authorization.”

In efforts to boost sales, Insys reportedly gave the drug to patients who did not have cancer.

According to an investigation by Senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat- Missouri), Insys falsified medical records, misleading insurance companies, and provided kickbacks to doctors in league with the company by using a combination of tactics.

Insys employees were allegedly pretending to be doctors’ offices so that they could fool insurance companies into approving the drug.

In a statement provided by CNN on Wednesday, Insys said that it disagreed with “certain characterizations in the staff report released today.”
They went on to say in the statement, “The report relates to activities of former employees of our company and matters that the company has addressed in its own efforts and in connection with investigations by the Department of Justice and state attorney general offices. Strengthening of our compliance program has been a significant focus for more than four years.”
Insys also said that it “invested significant resources in establishing an effective compliance program.”
In Boston, Federal prosecutors criminally charged six former Insys executives, including its former CEO, with fraud and racketeering charges.
Prosecutors described a “nationwide conspiracy to bribe medical practitioners to unnecessarily prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication and defraud health care insurers.”
Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston field office said, “As alleged, top executives of Insys Therapeutics, Inc. paid kickbacks and committed fraud to sell a highly potent and addictive opioid that can lead to abuse and life threatening respiratory depression.”
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Credit: CNN

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