Insys bribery suit
Blue Cross Blue Shield Sues Insys for Bribery Scheme
July 18, 2017
Embattled pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, several former executives of which have pled guilty to running kickback scams, have been sued by a number of Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) units for issuing bribes that then caused the insurer to pay millions in needless reimbursements.
Central to the suit is the allegation that Insys bribed doctors to prescribe its powerful, fentanyl-based opioid Subsys, and that those bribes caused a spike in fraudulent prescriptions for the drug, for which BCBS was obligated to pay.
Subsys is an unusually powerful medication with 50 times the strength of heroin. It is typically used only for cancer patients. Other potential users would require pre-authorization for the drug. Insys’s scheme was to inflate Subsys sales by coercing physicians to prescribe the drug even when it was not medically necessary.
Several former Insys executives had pled guilty to criminal charges in connection with the scheme.
The suit charges Insys with fraud, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive business practices, civil conspiracy, and unjust enrichment.
The opioid epidemic has claimed the lives of some 30,000 Americans in recent years.
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