The Justice Department for the United States has decided to join in on the whistle-blower case that is accusing the company, Insys Therapeutics Inc, for trying to get more profits for their company by paying doctors with kickbacks for them prescribing their patients with very powerful and addictive opioid prescription medications. This new involvement of the government was made public on Monday when it was disclosed in a filing. This will add major firepower for the case as civil litigation probes more into Insys. The case is looking into more about how the company was marketing their spray form of the drug fentanyl. Their product is called Subsys.
There are six states which have joined the civil litigation case against the company. They are North Carolina, Colorado, New York, California and Virginia. The names of these states were released during a filing done at the Los Angeles United States District Court.
According to Reuters.com, this case is beginning during a wave of other medically-criminal cases against many doctors and medical practitioners. The case is also against many sales representatives and executives who were employed by the Insys company. Also included in the cases is the founder of the company, John Kapoor. He is the billionaire founder being included in the civil litigation case against his company and anyone else involved in illegally pushing the medicine on their patients.
During a separate filing, the U.S. Justice Department had asked for the litigation case to be put on hold while the other criminal cases get resolved.
The drug, Subsys, is a spray often prescribed to patients who are suffering from severe pain due to cancer. The patients who were prescribed this drug were typically already getting and tolerating other opioid therapy options. The government is accusing the company of offering doctors lavish meals and incentives in order to get them to give their patients this drug.
The company is also being accused of causing federal health care programs such as Medicare to have to pay for these drugs when they were not actually medically necessary for the patients. The doctors were encouraged by the company to prescribe the opioid medication to their patients when it was not necessary by misrepresenting the diagnoses of their patients to get it approved through their government health care program.
Back in March, the president had called for litigation himself against any companies involved in roles such as these. He feels this is becoming a countrywide epidemic that needs to be addressed.