The founder and four former executives of Insys Therapeutics were convicted of racketeering for their sales methodologies of the company’s fentanyl painkiller, Subsys. The evidence at the 10-week trial revealed that sales representatives bribed doctors to choose the more expensive drug, Subsys, for their patients by paying the doctors for lectures that were part of boondoggles that included lap dances. The conspiracy part of the case resulted from the recorded conversations of employees at the Insys Reimbursement Center. The employees posed as doctors’ assistants offering false information about patients’ needs and health to obtain insurance reimbursement for them.
Evidence at the trial also included a rap video performance by someone in a Subsys dispenser costume, e-mails targeting patients with high doses of pain medication because they will “refill their monthly prescriptions indefinitely,” the tying of sales reps’ compensation to the number of prescriptions of Subsys, and mantras such as “Pill mills mean dollar signs. (i.e., target doctors with large numbers of opioid prescriptions). Subsys is 100 times more powerful than morphine.
The amazing part of the story is that it took the jury 15 days to reach a verdict.