The United States' opiate drug problem isn't limited to illegal narcotics. The sale of dangerously addictive painkillers prescribed by our physicians has quadrupled in the past decade, and one company in particular is pushing pain to the legal edge of aggressive medical marketing.
According to criminal complaints, attorneys general reports and CNBC sources, specialty pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics — with the help of several physicians across the country now under investigation — is putting profits before patients as it makes millions off your pain.
Insys is subject to investigations regarding the sales and marketing practices of its main product — Subsys Fentanyl, a painkiller delivered as an oral spray — by both federal and state attorneys general offices in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Arizona and Illinois, according to its 10-Q filing.
"I've been investigating drug cases for about 15 years now, and the conduct that we saw in this case was among the most unconscionable that I've seen," said Oregon Assistant Attorney General David Hart, who led an investigation that resulted in the first state-level settlement with Insys and a detailed, published report on the company's practices. "There was harm done to patients on a level I'm not used to seeing," Hart said.
In a recent presentation obtained by CNBC, an officer from the Inspector General's Office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services placed Subsys on a list of "new diversion drugs of concern." Diversion is a form of medical fraud that can include doctors prescribing drugs for unintended uses.