NH State law enforcement has reached a $3.2 million settlement with fentanyl drug manufacturer Insys and is pursuing investigations against Purdue Pharma, Actavis Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
The FBI indicted six senior Insys executives last month on charges of racketeering.
And actions have been taken against the company’s sales force and/or prescribers in several other states as well.
Insys’ Subsys fentanyl drug was narrowly approved by the FDA for breakthrough cancer pain. In what has become an only-too-successful marketing strategy, allegedly Insys aggressively promoted Subsys for non-cancer treatment purposes. Reports indicate only 1 percent of Subsys scripts in New Hampshire were written by cancer doctors.
The Granite State has the highest death rate from fentanyl overdose in the nation.
A Physicians’ Assistant in New Hampshire was allegedly paid speaking fees as a backdoor way of incentivizing him to prescribe Insys’ Subsys(r) a version of opioid fentanyl.
Reports indicate of the 100,000 doses consumed in NH, this one PA, Christopher Clough, prescribed 84% of them.
What happened in New Hampshire is directly related to Insys’ marketing practices. Make no mistake, this was all about profits, regardless of the damage to patients, families, society, kids.
This from the NYTimes:
“As Subsys grows more mature, we expect the number of experienced patients to grow,” Michael E. Faerm, an analyst for Wells Fargo, wrote last year in a note to investors. “As the experienced patients titrate higher, the average dose per prescription should increase.”
The former Insys sales representatives said they were paid more for selling higher doses…
What a great business. A highly addictive drug creates more revenue for the manufacturer and for sales reps as patients need more and more and more to get “relief” – or get high.
New Hampshire has subpoenaed other large opioid manufacturers who have refused to comply with the demand to provide materials. It’s highly likely Purdue, Teva et al will be compelled to comply when higher courts rule.
What does this mean for you?
A bittersweet moment indeed, but at long last corporate crooks are being criminally charged for their actions that killed people to create profits.
Here’s hoping they are convicted and sentenced to long terms at awful places.