He got doctors to prescribe it when not needed, and insurance companies to foot the bill.
And the opioid crisis continues to unfold. If you’ve been thinking it’s hard to imagine so many patients addicted to prescription opioids in the U.S brought it all on themselves, you’re onto something.
Dr. John N. Kapoor, 74, of Phoenix, Arizona has been charged with the illegal distribution of fentanyl spray intended to treat cancer patients, across the country. Kapoor, who is a billionaire and the owner of Insys, is also being charged with fraud and conspiracy to use bribes, reports indicate.
How did he do it? A former employee says Kapoor had her call up insurance companies on behalf of potential patients, as well as their doctors, and arrange for a prescription to be written up and the insurance company to pay for it.
Insisting on Subsys
The catch is that Subsys, the medication being prescribed, is 100 times stronger than morphine, and is only intended for use in cancer patients who have pain so powerful that other drugs are ineffective at treating it. So, it’s not for the average back pain.
Kapoor’s business succeeded in getting many patients who didn’t need Subsys hooked on the powerful drug, with prescriptions that rapidly increased, sometimes quadrupling quickly and in one case, causing death.
According to NBC News.com, three doctors who were top prescribers of the drug have been convicted of taking bribes from Mr. Kapoor’s company, Insys.
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