Insys Therapeutics, the makers of Subsys fentanyl spray, has agreed to pay $225 million “to end criminal and civil investigations into allegations that it used a system of bribes to get doctors to illegally prescribe its highly addictive product,” the Washington Post reports. The company will also plead guilty to 5 counts of mail fraud.
There have been multiple criminal charges, indictments, and convictions so far. Founder John Kapoor, along with 5 other executives, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy; former CEO Michael Babitch pled guilty to participating in a bribery scheme. Multiple other Insys employees, as well as numerous doctors across the country, have faced criminal charges related to a kickback scheme that may have injured thousands of patients.
Per the Washington Post:
“’For years, Insys engaged in prolonged, illegal conduct that prioritized its profits over the health of the thousands of patients who relied on it,’ U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement. ‘Today, the company is being held responsible for that and for its role in fueling the opioid epidemic.’”
The criminal claim will be resolved for $30 million; the other $195 million is part of a civil resolution for 5 different qui tam actions filed under the False Claims Act. In August 2018, Insys originally agreed to pay $150 million to settle related claims.
This decision only affects lawsuits at the federal level. Individual lawsuits may still be pending.
However, it is important to note that mere days after agreeing to pay this settlement, Insys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If you have sustained injuries from Subsys use, time is of the essence. You must get your claim in quickly, to avoid be barred from recovering compensation.
Criminal behavior motivated by greed
Subsys is a sublingual fentanyl spray, designed to help cancer patients deal with acute pain. Because of its strength, Subsys should never have been prescribed to help patients manage chronic pain.
But that did not stop Insys from marketing its drug as a chronic pain reliever. To entice doctors to prescribe the drug, the company engaged in a large-scale kickback scheme, paying millions of dollars in “speakers fees” to doctors who wrote scrips. A ProPublica investigation found that out of the 10 doctors who prescribed the drug the most, only one was an oncologist.
Over the years, the company made billions of dollars while unsuspecting patients became addicted to the drug.
McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC is already representing clients in a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice, and a violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act. We believe in accountability, which is why we fight hard for our clients and their families.