11 December 2016

Remember When I Said that Big Pharma was Fueling the Opioid Epidemic?

Fentanyl is an incredibly potent opioid painkiller; it acts quickly and powerfully, but doesn’t last as long as others, meaning its medical application is limited. So if you’re a drug company trying to boost sales of your new fentanyl spray, how do you sell more of a product that very few people have a real need for? You could bribe doctors with paid “speaking engagements,” take them out and show them the “best nights of their life,” all so they write prescriptions for patients who probably shouldn’t be getting your drug.

This is according on an indictment [PDF] filed yesterday by the Justice Department against the former CEO and five other employees of Insys Therapeutics, makers of the Subsys brand fentanyl spray, a fast-acting form of the drug that was primarily intended for cancer patients experiencing high levels of pain that couldn’t be managed through more traditional opioids.

The DOJ alleges that, starting in 2012, former Insys CEO Michael Babich and his fellow defendants bribed and provided illegal kickbacks to at least ten physicians — mostly operators of pain clinics — in ten different states.
Clearly. the problem is that our regulatory solution does not have enough free market.

I'd like to see a sh%$ load of prosecutions.


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