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Subsys 19 articles

Too much off-label prescribing of potent fentanyl, study finds

Nearly half of the patients prescribed high potent transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl (TIRF) reserved to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients already on round-the-clock opioid therapy, were given the drugs off-label. Yet, when this evidence surfaced, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dragged its feet on addressing the problem. And when it did, the agency only made a “few substantive changes” to its Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (REMS), according to a study published in JAMA. The REMS for TIRF drugs was approved by the FDA on Dec. 28, 2011, because the medications were very potent and there was a high risk ... Read More

Las Vegas doctor arrested for illegally prescribing fentanyl spray

After “Patient A” died from an overdose of the highly potent fentanyl spray Subsys, “hundreds of Subsys canister sprays were found in and around Patient A’s bedroom, bathroom, work place and vehicle,” and the Las Vegas doctor who prescribed him the drug is now facing charges of health care fraud and unlawful distribution of fentanyl, according to a federal jury indictment. Steven Wolper, M.D., allegedly illegally prescribed Subsys to 22 patients and lied that they had cancer to insurance companies and Medicare. Subsys is a highly addictive opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is only approved ... Read More

Insys former sales chief dressed as a bottle of fentanyl to boost sales

In 2015, executives from Insys Therapeutics played a parody video during the company’s national sales meeting. Employees rapped to the tune of A$AP Rocky’s “F**kin’ Problems” and encouraged sales staff to boost sales of its potent fentanyl spray Subsys. Toward the end of the video, the company’s former head of sales appeared dressed as a 1,600-microgram bottle of Subsys – the highest dosage available. In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a great idea. The video became evidence this week in a racketeering trial against five former Insys executives, including the Subsys suit-wearing sales manager Alec Burlakoff. Former Insys CEO Michael Babich ... Read More

Insys founder paid kickbacks to docs to prescribe its addictive fentanyl

Insys Therapeutics Inc.’s founder and four of its executives stooped to new lows to entice doctors to prescribe their pricey opioid spray Subsys, treating them to lavish dinners, putting them on its payroll, and even giving one top prescriber of the drug a lap dance, Assistant U.S. Attorney David G. Lazarus told a federal jury in Boston in the trial of former Insys chairman and founder John Kapoor. Kapoor, along with other company executives, is facing charges of using bribes and kickbacks to increase sales of Subsys, a highly addictive spray version of the opioid fentanyl. “This is a case ... Read More

Insys sued for bribing doctors to prescribe powerful opioid Subsys

Drug company Insys Therapeutics bribed doctors to prescribe its powerful fentanyl spray Subsys for conditions in which it was not approved, allegedly costing the federal government millions of dollars, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and six states. The whistleblower litigation involves allegations that Insys used deceptive practices to market its cancer pain treatment, including funneling money to doctors and nurse practitioners through fake speaking events in exchange for them writing prescriptions; finding jobs for family and friends of those who prescribed the drug; and funding strip club visits. Numerous Insys sales representatives have ... Read More

Insys sued for illegally pushing its powerful opioid Subsys

William Hemmings believed the sales representative with Insys Therapeutics Inc., when he said Hemmings was a “perfect candidate” for his company’s powerful opioid painkiller Subsys. Hemmings’ doctor had been treating him with “various narcotics and muscle relaxers” for a work-related injury that required multiple surgeries, but he was still in pain. After Insys sales representative Nick Patel visited Hemmings’ doctor, the physician suggested Hemmings try Subsys. In April 2015, Patel came to the doctor’s office and assured Hemmings that the fentanyl spray would relieve his pain in as little as five minutes, and that he could use it several times ... Read More

Las Vegas Doctor Arrested For Illegal Opioid Distribution

A Las Vegas pain management physician was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 13, and charged with 29 counts of unlawful distribution of a potent opioid drug and health care fraud. The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) said it leveled the charges against Dr. Steven A. Holper, 66. Seven of the 29 charges allege the doctor prescribed the opioid Subsys (fentanyl sublingual spray), outside his professional practice to people who had no medical need for the drug. According to the DOJ, Dr. Holper “routinely prescribed Subsys for his patients without cancer.” The remaining charges involve Dr. Holper’s alleged false statements to Medicare and private health ... Read More

Insys rep’s opioid kickback trial pushed to September

A trial involving a former sales manager for drugmaker Insys Therapeutics Inc., accused of paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the company’s fentanyl-based opioid painkiller, has been pushed back to September, a Connecticut federal judge ruled. Both the government and Jeffrey Pearlman had requested a delay of the trial, originally set for February, after new discovery responses and possible state charges poured in. Pearlman was also scheduled for back surgery. The new trial date was set for Sept. 26, ample time for both parties to comb through hundreds of thousands of new documents, as well as for the Connecticut attorney ... Read More

NC sues Insys for illegally pushing opioid spray Subsys

North Carolina’s attorney general is suing drug maker Insys Therapeutics Inc., over allegations that the drug company paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe its potent opioid Subsys to patients who didn’t meet the requirements for the medication, then lied to insurers to get them to cover the cost. Attorney General Josh Stein’s Consumer Protection Act lawsuit is one of several against Insys and its executives, including criminal racketeering and fraud charges in Massachusetts and civil and consumer protection claims in New Jersey. The drug company and its executives, who are not named in the North Carolina suit, are accused of ... Read More

Insys founder freed from ankle monitor for daily jogs

John Kapoor, billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics, can rid himself of his cumbersome electronic monitoring device to take his daily jogs just so long as he doesn’t try to run out of the country, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled. Kapoor, who is facing charges that his company bribed doctors to needlessly prescribe his company’s fentanyl-based opioid spray, said the GPS-enabled device makes it “virtually impossible for him to run,” his attorneys said. The device “interferes with a lot of things, including jogging, but rest assured he’s not running from the case,” his attorneys said to U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer Boal. ... Read More