Fentanyl Busts in Ohio Seize Enough Drugs to Kill the Whole State

Fentanyl Busts in Ohio Seize Enough Drugs to Kill the Whole State

In 2014 the state of Ohio was #2 for most overdose deaths in all of America with approximately 2,744 deaths. For 2016 early estimates are putting that number at 4,149 Ohioans who lost their lives, a 36% climb from 2015, the year when the Buckeye State had by far the most overdose deaths in the nation.

On average, 11 people died every day from heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil and other drugs in Ohio through 2016.

As the nation grapples with these skyrocketing body counts from coast to coast, more government and law enforcement officials are trying to find new ways to take action against the opioid crisis. For those who do not know, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid; one of the most dangerous drugs on the illicit market.

But recently the Capital City of the Midwest has scored a huge win in that fight.

Enough to Kill Columbus

Back in October one drug bust led to investigators discovering 2 kilograms, or 4.5 pounds, of fentanyl in the trunk of a car. To put this in perspective, the Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien stated that:

  • A fatal dose of fentanyl is considered to be only 2-3 milligrams.
  • In Columbus, Ohio the population is approximately 860,000 people.

Crunching the numbers, the prosecutor points out this amount of the incredibly lethal synthetic drug could have killed every man, woman, and child in the city.

Three California men were arrested in relation to this bust.

Enough to Kill Ohio

Just when you think you’ve heard the worst of it, that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.  The following month police in the capital city seized 20 pounds of pure fentanyl. In regards to this case, Ron O’Brien said,

“So it would probably be enough to kill all, the entire population in the state of Ohio.”

Again, using the same lethal fentanyl dosage for perspective, Ohio has 11.6 million residents. The amount of fentanyl discovered in the November bust could potentially kill more than 9 million people. O’Brien included,

“Two or three milligrams of fentanyl is not much more than five or six small grains of salt.”

So it stands to reason that 20 pounds of this drug could easily wipe out the vast majority of the inhabitants of the state.

More Record Busts this Year

The opioid epidemic is the greatest drug crisis in the history of the country. As the problem has intensified, the spread of fentanyl and carfentanil has continued to bring dead and devastation. Luckily, there are more major opioid busts this year, with some seizing enough fentanyl to kill entire populations of several states.

New York

In August officials of the Empire State managed to seize more than 140 pounds of fentanyl in August. The Drug Enforcement Administration said that amount could’ve killed nearly 32 million people. Put more bluntly, this amount of fentanyl could wipe out the populations of Texas and Oklahoma… combined!

San Diego

Back in June officials in this major California city found close to 100 pounds of fentanyl. That is enough to kill 22.4 million people; that is the combined populations of:

  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine

St. Louis

The Gateway to the West was able to catch nearly 60 pounds of pure fentanyl back in April. That alone is enough to kill more than 13.6 million people.

Fighting the Spread of Fentanyl

Back in Ohio, Ron O’Brien and other officials know the opioid epidemic is getting worse all over the country. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest drug report states:

  • More than 33,000 people died from opioid-related drug overdoses in 2015
  • Close to 10,000 of them were from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl

In the state of Ohio, the opioid crisis has placed an increasing strain on resources. Financially it is costing Ohio residents between $6.6 and 8.8 billion per year, according to some experts. That is almost as much as the state spends on education for grades K-12.

Yet the fight goes on.

These massive seizures of this lethal synthetic chemical have undoubtedly saved many lives. However, putting a complete stop to the illicit drug trade is still very far off, if at all possible. Still, taking a few hundred pounds of such a potent and potentially deadly drugs off the streets makes an immeasurable difference.

For more important information on the dangers of prescription drugs, download our FREE E-BOOK “Big Secrets of Big Pharma: Why They Secretly Hope You Get Hooked”

DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOK

Treating Opioid Abuse

Holistic drug addiction treatment is an effective and important resource for helping people struggling with substance use disorder, especially in the wake of the opioid crisis in America.

Outbreaks of more life-threatening drug problems including fentanyl and other hazardous synthetics only make the need for supportive and impactful treatment more relevant. If we want to overcome the opioid epidemic there must be an emphasis on how we treat people struggling and on how we support them through the recovery process.

Treating opioid abuse is about building a strong foundation with safe medical detox, personalized therapy, and innovative treatment opportunities. Palm Healthcare Company helps thousands of people all over the country overcome opioid abuse. Our facilities are committed to providing quality care for those dealing with drug abuse, whether it is illicit drugs or prescription drug dependence. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Can Kellyanne Conway Really Compete with the Opioid Crisis?

Can Kellyanne Conway Really Compete with the Opioid Crisis?

This past Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway will be the Trump administration’s go-to for opioid crisis efforts. This announcement has been met with both praise and criticism. Some say this appointment actually gives validity to the White House’s commitment to solving the ongoing opioid epidemic, while others see it as the exact opposite.

For a little background, Kellyanne Conway worked as a pollster before becoming Trump’s campaign manager during his run for the 2016 presidential nomination. Currently, Conway serves as a White House spokeswoman and Trump surrogate. She has been seen on countless panels discussing the biggest topics and politics. She absolutely has her work cut out for her, so can Kellyanne Conway compete?

The Kellyanne Cons and Pros

So can this infamous Trump advocate, the woman who practically accidentally coined the phrase “alternative facts” compete with the opioid crisis in America? Kallyanne Conway has become notorious for defending some of President Trump’s most flagrant and controversial “alternative facts” in the media. But in her defense, she also has said some things that seem to highlight important prospects for this problem.

So here are some things to consider when we talk about Kellyanne Conway being put in charge of the opioid epidemic.

Lack of Experience

One of the big problems with this appointment people are pointing out is the lack of experience. Critics say this appointment speaks to how little passion the current administration is actually putting into fighting the opioid crisis since Kellyanne Conway has no experience in public health or with drug policy.

But in a time where Americans seem to be putting more trust in people that don’t typically meet the description of “qualified” in hopes that an outsider might bring better results, it makes sense that a lot of people might still hope Kellyanne can do some good.

Yet, there are still those who aren’t so sure. Tom Synan, a police chief and member of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition in Ohio tweeted in response to the announcement:

“Ummm… did we run out of Dr’s, cops, addiction specialists or people who are actually dealing with this on the street to lead this?”

As a first responder, Synan is one of many people who are frustrated with the current actions being taken.

“I don’t want to get involved in politics, but it seems like it is a political position … I think I would have gone out to the country and tapped into people who are national experts who are on the street who are literally dealing with this issue every day,”

It seems many on the front lines are not impressed with the Trump administration’s move to put Kellyanne Conway in charge of efforts to combat one of the worst drug problems in the nation’s history.

Publicity and Perception

During a press briefing about the Justice Department’s efforts to combat the crisis where the announcement was made, Sessions said President Donald Trump chose Kellyanne Conway to “change the perception” about opioids and reduce addictions and deaths.

According to Sessions, President Trump has made the epidemic “a top priority for his administration, including every senior official and Cabinet member.”

An opioid policy expert Andrew Kolodny of Brandeis University actually defended the move when speaking to BuzzFeed News, stating:

“It is a positive sign. She is a high-profile figure in the administration, showing the administration takes this seriously,”

Some believe this can offer a sign of hope for more concrete action since many recovery advocates say despite the declaration of a public health emergency from President Trump there has been very little action taken to change the state of the epidemic.

Bertha Madras, a member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis and Harvard Medical School professor, said:

“The most important thing that Kellyanne Conway will provide is access … but also commitment… She was at all the meetings, she listened and took copious notes.”

Let’s hope those are some good notes because thus far the opioid problem in America has shown no signs of slowing down. Jeff Sessions justified the appointment by saying Kellyanne Conway “understanding messaging” and can help turn around public perception. But is this about publicity, or is it about the preservation of life?

Surely breaking the stigma and changing the way addiction is viewed does matter, but should someone who specializes in making things look good to be in charge of how this country deals with one of the most prominent crises we face?

Treatment and Resources

Kellyanne does seem to support treatment, but to what extent it is still unclear. In one interview with ABC Kellyanne Conway did say,

“Pouring money into the problem is not the only answer. We have to get serious about in-facility treatment and recovery.”

So she at least appears to understand how crucial effective inpatient treatment is for recovery.

But when reporters mentioned the fact that there needs to be funding for these programs, she put more emphasis on “a 4 letter word called will” that seems to side-step the question- where will these resources come from?

As it now stands, White House has:

  • Left the leadership role of the Office of National Drug Control Policy vacant
  • Failed to release any written opioid-control strategy
  • Not requested funds to replenish the national public health emergency fund that currently sits at just $66,000

In fact, President Trump’s 2018 budget request would increase addiction treatment funding by less than 2%. And don’t be fooled, that increase includes the $500 million already appropriated by Congress in 2016 under the 21st Century Cures Act with the Obama administration.

Even Chris Christie, the Republican New Jersey Governor who led the White House Opioid Commission, said:

“In New Jersey, we are spending $500 million,” he said. “I am not, quite frankly, impressed with $1 billion from the federal government for the nation.”

Strict Prevention and Punishment

When you look at what she has said on record in regards to opioids and addiction, it doesn’t really inspire a great deal of confidence. Kellyanne Conway has consistently hinted to an outdated ideology of what addiction is and how to address it.

In the past, Kellyanne has said,

“The best way to stop people dying from overdoses and drug abuse is by not starting in the first place… That’s a big core message for our youth.”

That’s right; just say no.

Critics say this aligns with the mindset of Jeff Sessions and others in the White House who seem to think that ‘Just Say No’ tactics actually work, or that purely prevention-based programs like D.A.R.E. can solve the whole problem. While prevention is important, it has proven to be ineffective as a focal point when addressing addiction.

Circling back to publicity, what Ms. Conway does seem to heavily endorse is a White House investigation for a “national ad campaign” on abuse prevention. President Trump himself had voiced his own support for a national advertising initiative to try and deter drug use.

But we all remember those commercials- this is your brain on drugs- and they didn’t really help that much.

Again, it seems Attorney General Sessions and the current administration is more focused on punishment than treatment and strict law enforcement. Sessions said the Justice Department was giving more than $12 million in grants to state and local law enforcement to help them prosecute crimes connected to:

Sessions is also ordering all U.S. Attorney offices to designate opioid coordinators. Kaitlyn Boecker, Policy Manager with the Drug Policy Alliance, has been vocal in her disapproval of the current steps being taken.

“Despite declaring the opioid overdose crisis a public health emergency just last month, the Trump Administration continues to emphasize failed prohibitionist policies while ignoring proven public health measures that we know reduce overdose death, like community naloxone distribution.”

 “As we feared, the Administration is using the overdose crisis as an excuse to ratchet up the war on drugs rather than an opportunity to save lives.” 

At this point, we can say that the news is not without skeptics. While many are still trying to remain hopeful that maybe because Kellyanne is so vocal and such a well-known surrogate for the president that perhaps she will be able to garner more attention to the issue.

While the fight for more resources continues, we should always encourage people to seek help. There are many safe and effective treatment resources already that have been helping people recover from drug and alcohol addiction for decades, like Palm Healthcare Company. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help. 

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

25 Facts About Cocaine You Probably Didn’t Know

25 Facts About Cocaine You Probably Didn’t Know

While the opioid crisis in America has reached public health emergency proportions, we still have to remember that there are a lot of other extremely dangerous drugs out there. Cocaine is a drug that has been around for a very long time, but with the rise in heroin and prescription drug abuse, people may have this idea that cocaine is no longer a real threat.

However, cocaine is still very dangerous and very prevalent around the world and here in the United States.

So how well do you know this drug? What do you know about its history? Do you know about the most common health risks?

Here are 25 facts about cocaine you probably don’t know.

Random History

  1. Karl Koller (1857-1944)

This Austrian ophthalmologist experimented with cocaine as an anesthetic. The most infamous accounts are of Koller applying the drug to his own eye and then pricking it with needles.

  1. Nervous Stimulant

Cocaine is the most powerful central nervous stimulant found in nature. The drug often gives users feelings of alertness, energy and even power.

  1. Commercial Cocaine

In 1885, a U.S. manufacturer sold cocaine commercially. They advertised that cocaine would “make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, and render the sufferer insensitive to pain.”

Side note- The manufacturer even included a syringe in the packaging.

  1. Drugged on the Job

According to some historians, white business owners in the early 1900s would encourage their African-American employees to use cocaine in order to boost their productivity.

  1. First Addicted Physician

In 1884, famous American physician William Stewart Halsted performed the first surgery using cocaine as an anesthetic.

Side note- he shortly afterward became the first cocaine-addicted physician on record. Surprising?

  1. Powdered Money

According to one study, trace amounts of cocaine can be found on 4 out of every 5 dollar bills. However, cocaine is a fine powder and is easily spread around, meaning the bill wasn’t necessarily used as a snorting straw.

  1. Nazi Addicts

Historians say that Hitler was addicted to cocaine, among many other drugs including methamphetamines. Nazis often used drugs as a means of stimulation. Many believe all those stimulants helped ignite his ranting paranoia.

Prevalence

  1. Second Most Popular

Cocaine is the second most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. The first is marijuana.

  1. Emergency Visits

In 2004-2007 cocaine overdose caused 31% of visits to the emergency room.

  1. First Timers

Every day, 2,500 Americans try cocaine for the first time.

  1. Worldwide

Over 200 million people use illegal drugs worldwide. 21 million of those people use cocaine.

  1. American Addiction

Even though the United States only makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, the country consumes approximately 37% of the world’s cocaine.

  1. Illicit Industry

The illicit cocaine industry earns between $100 and $500 billion each year.

  1. Scotland Snorts

Scotland has the highest cocaine use out of any other country in the world. One out of every 40 Scots uses cocaine, which is approximately 2.4% of the population.

  1. Babies Born Addicts

Every year in the United States more than 400,000 babies are born already addicted to cocaine.

Health Risks

  1. Fast-Acting Addiction

An estimated 10% of all people who begin using cocaine will immediately progress to serious, heavy.

  1. Sharing is Hurting

Sharing straws to sniff cocaine can actually spread several blood-borne diseases, including hepatitis C.

  1. Mental Health

Cocaine users tend to have higher rates of certain mental health conditions, including:

When compared to the general population.

  1. Perfect for Heart Attacks

Come describe cocaine as the “perfect heart attack drug” because it causes so many harmful effects, including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Stiff arteries
  • Thickening of heart muscle walls

Even worse is that these irregularities persist long after the effects of cocaine have worn off, even for those who aren’t chronic users.

  1. Bruxism

Chronic cocaine use can cause a condition called bruxism, which is grinding of the teeth involuntarily.

  1. Drug-Induced Decay

Cocaine frequently causes dehydration and dry mouth. This leads to many users having less saliva in their mouth, which can then lead to tooth decay.

  1. The Nose No’s

Cocaine can also destroy the cartilage separating a person’s nostrils after continued use.

  1. Deadly Influence

The direct pharmacological effects of the cocaine are often only credited with 1/3 of the deaths associated with cocaine use. The majority of deaths in connection with cocaine are by:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Motor vehicle collisions

Meaning a lot of people die as a result of the mind-altering properties of cocaine and risk behaviors associated with the drug.

  1. Lethal Mix

Consuming cocaine with alcohol is one of the deadliest drug combinations there is.

Now you may be wondering… what is the last fact going to be? You might get through this list knowing less than you expect about the powerful illegal stimulant…

NUMBER 25

You can quit because there is help for you. Cocaine addiction can be crippling and feel impossible to overcome. But with safe medical detox, followed by effective and holistic treatment options, you can build a lasting foundation for recovery from cocaine addiction.

Palm Healthcare Company takes pride in offering comprehensive and innovative treatment options to help individuals create a personalized recovery plan. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Is Indivior Drug a Revolutionary Opioid Treatment or the Next Suboxone?

Is Indivior Drug a Revolutionary Opioid Treatment or the Next Suboxone?

While the nation is still struggling to find the right strategy to climb out of the opioid crisis in U.S. it seems many are holding onto the idea that Big Pharma is going to save us from the destruction they helped create. While we can agree that evidence-based medical assistance in recovery is a useful tool, some seem to think that the only fix for a pill problem is more pills, or in this case, more needles.

Just recently, after President Trump declared the opioid crisis a “National Health Emergency”, the advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 18-1 that a new injectable drug called RBP-6000 could benefit addicts and the lower of two doses studied had an “acceptable” safety profile.

So what does this mean for the opioid epidemic efforts? Is Indivior a miracle injection that is going to make the epidemic more manageable, or is it another kind of Methadone or Suboxone that is just keeping people hooked?

What is RBP-6000?

For a little background, RBP-6000 is an experimental drug designed to help fight America’s growing opioid addiction crisis. It is described as a sustained-release buprenorphine. It is designed to be delivered once a month as a subcutaneous injection. The compound solidified once in contact with bodily fluids and releases buprenorphine over time.

If approved, it will be the first monthly injectable buprenorphine treatment. When creating the drug the manufacturers studied two dosing regimens.

In one, 300 milligrams were given once a month for six months.

In the other, two doses of 300 milligrams were followed by four doses of 100 milligrams.

According to reports, there was only a minute difference in effectiveness between the two doses, and they drug company acknowledge that the higher dose of RBP-6000 caused more side effects. Looking closely into some of the reports from the research, some side-effects include:

  • Headache

  • Constipation

  • Nausea

  • Injection site pruritus

  • Vomiting

  • Insomnia

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

While these side effects were not noted in an extremely high percentage of those tested, they are still relevant to consider until there is more extensive data available. So far, the report says the safety profile is consistent with that of Suboxone.

So RBP-6000 is like Suboxone using the delivery of Vivitrol; another injectable drug used to try and block the effects of opioids.

Big Pharma Making Big Moves

This is one sign of how Big Pharma is stepping in to make a buck off of the opioid epidemic yet again.

Indivior is the company behind RBP-6000. It was originally part of Reckitt Benckiser as the Buprenorphine division but has since split off to be a specialty pharmaceutical company. Indivior already sells Suboxone Film, a product which combines buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is a maintenance drug widely used in America to try and curb the effects of opioid addiction and withdrawal, but Suboxone is known to have its own side-effects and withdrawals. Some even attest that Suboxone is itself addictive and very difficult to get off of.

Two months ago the share prices for Indivior took a deep hit after a U.S. court ruling clearing the way for a generic rival to Suboxone Film. So, with new competition on the way in the Suboxone market, Indivior put a renewed focus on another maintenance drug to bring to market.

Some analysts already expect that RBP-6000 could capture around 30% of the broader buprenorphine market. Some believe this new form of injectable buprenorphine could generate annual sales of around $700 million by 2021.

Jefferies sees potential sales of $1.3 billion by 2025.

So now the push for this new drug is boosting its sales prospects as competitors threaten revenues from Suboxone sales.

To learn more about why Suboxone isn’t the easier answer some people think it is, download our FREE E-BOOK

“5 Things No One Tells You About Suboxone”

DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOK

Waiting for FDA Final Ruling

This endorsement on behalf of RBP-6000 comes less than a week after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the agency’s plans to promote extensive use among opioid addicts of less harmful opioids such as methadone and buprenorphine, the active ingredient in RBP-6000.

However, some of the FDA panelists still would like to see more data about which patients should be given the higher dose. Other panelists say they would like to have it available, even though they lack of data supporting any additional benefit of higher doses. So even though the drug is shown to have side-effects in higher doses, and there is limited information on how these side-effects impact the individual, the FDA is considering to let this drug pass the grade.

The FDA’s decision is set to be made by November 30th, although typically the agency follows the recommendations of its advisory panels. So it may very well already be a done deal.

Why It Matters

Again, with respect to the importance of offering alternatives to particularly dangerous opioids like heroin or fentanyl. It is important to have resources for the purpose of preserving of life. Keeping people alive long enough to get help is crucial. But we also have to see that this is not a miracle cure.

Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol may serve a purpose for some in a certain capacity. However, these drugs are not an adequate substitute for comprehensive addiction treatment. Each one of these methods should be accompanied by a holistic treatment plan that addresses all aspect of addiction, including emotional and mental health.

Drugs like RBP-6000 may help subdue the more serious symptoms from the physical side of addiction, but they can also present their own risks.

It is important to offer safe medical assistance, but we have to remember that these Big Pharma companies are not selling us instant cures to opioid addiction. This isn’t even the first time we have seen a new drug come out to try and treat the opioid problem from companies that are closely related or directly responsible for narcotic medications that helped fuel the issue.

Remember, there is not a quick fix for this problem. We cannot prescribe our way out of the problem. It is going to take better treatment resources beyond more medications.

Drugs like RBP-6000 from Indivior are not necessarily a bad thing, but they also may not be the kind of treatment people should focus on. Instead, there are safe medical treatment options that offer holistic resources and mental health services. A lasting recovery begins with effective treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Racketeering for Fentanyl: Opioid Maker Insys Founder Arrested for Bribes

Big Pharma Founder of Insys Arrested on Racketeering for Fentanyl

In December of 2016, the Palm Partners Recovery Center blog covered a story about how federal prosecutors were bringing racketeering charges against several employees of Insys Therapeutics Inc. The initial report and the controversy that followed was a profound moment considering criminal charges are rarely ever brought against pharmaceutical companies. Now it seems that even more the corporate drug dealers who helped create the opioid crisis in America are going to be finding themselves under serious scrutiny for their unethical practices.

Last week President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. That very same day, as if to accent the severity of the crisis and the unignorable need for change, the co-founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc. himself was arrested on fraud and racketeering charges.

Insys Therapeutics CEO Taking a Fall

John Kapoor is the former CEO of Insys Therapeutics; a founding father of one of the most prominent opioid manufacturing companies in America. As of last week, Kapoor is reported to be charged with conspiring to push the company’s signature drug for unacceptable uses through a series of bribes and kickbacks.

The drug Kapoor and his company are accused of pushing just happens to be one of the most dangerous opioids on the market, which has contributed to countless deaths across the country over the years- fentanyl.

The brand name for the product made by Insys Therapeutics Inc is Subsys. This extremely potent compound transmits the synthetic opioid fentanyl in spray form. As an opioid analgesic, people use Subsys by spraying it under the tongue for quick absorption of potent fentanyl. Technically, this drug is supposed to only be used for treating cancer patients suffering from severe pain. But according to prosecutors that is very far from the sales strategy Kapoor and his executives were using.

With recent reports showing that approximately 64,000 Americans died last year from drug overdose, and an estimated 20,100 overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids like fentanyl, how many of those lives were impacted by the drug Insys forced onto the market with bribes?

According to the prosecution, Kapoor and several other former high-ranking executives at the company colluded to bribe doctors to write-

“- large numbers of prescriptions for the patients, most of whom were not diagnosed with cancer.”

They also allegedly-

“- conspired to mislead and defraud health insurance providers who were reluctant to approve payment for the drug when it was prescribed for non-cancer patients.”

How did they do all this?

The Insidious Work of  Insys Therapeutics Inc

Back in 2016, there was the discussion of six former executives and sales-managers from Insys Therapeutics Inc. being arrested. The charges, according to the Justice Department, included:

  • Conspiring to defraud health insurers
  • Conspiring to bribe doctors into needlessly prescribing Subsys, the company’s fentanyl painkiller

The scam is allegedly a long list of kickback schemes, sham speaking programs, and illegitimate gifts or services.

Sham Speaking

Allegedly, doctors and nurses were paid to attend dinners at high-end restaurants. These dinners were disguised as ‘speaker programs’ that were actually described as gatherings of friends and co-workers who had no power to prescribe medications. Supposed ‘speakers’ were paid fees of up to several thousand dollars for attending these exclusive outings.

One healthcare provider reportedly received an illegal kickback to the tune of $83,000!

All of this money to bribe doctors and other healthcare professionals to prescribe Subsys, even when inappropriate. So not only were they pressuring doctors to use their product over alternatives, but also to prescribe a dangerous and potentially fatal opioid to people who didn’t even need it.

Country-Wide Con-Artists

Other stories written about in Forbes include cases in:

  • Connecticut

In 2015 a nurse practitioner pleaded guilty to violating a federal anti-kickback statute by taking money from Insys to prescribe the drug to Medicare patients who did not have cancer.

  • Alabama

A former Insys sales representative also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute by paying two doctors to prescribe the drug.

  • Illinois

The state has filed multiple claims against Insys Therapeutics involving the pressuring prescriptions of Subsys for unapproved uses.

Doctors who have worked with the company are being investigated by states including:

  • New York

  • Michigan

  • Florida

  • Kansas

  • New Hampshire

  • Rhode Island

U.S. attorneys in the Central District of California and the District of Massachusetts are also investigating Insys Therapeutics Inc.

Shady Gifts and Services

The buck doesn’t stop there either. It wasn’t just cash gifts for unethical practices. Insys Therapeutics wanted their partners in crime to get the full effect of their illicit activities.

The company would send its own employees to work in doctor’s offices when the physician prescribed their fentanyl fuming drug to patients. They even hired the relatives of health care providers as a favor to the family for their loyalty to Subsys.

Insurance Fraud

They allegedly even set up a portion of their staff to defraud insurance companies by calling to speak with insurance representatives while posing as doctors. Some allegations state they were even misrepresenting a patients diagnosis to inflate drug sales.

A December of 2016 indictment states that Insys actively worked to defraud insurance companies by setting up the “reimbursement unit” dedicated to obtaining prior authorization from insurers and pharmacy benefit managers.

Other Insys Therapeutics Exes

Kapoor stepped down as chief executive in January. However, he is definitely not the only former Insys Therapeutics executive currently under fire. This is just the tip of a very rocky ice-berg. The indictment from 2016 included:

  1. Michael L. Babich

Former CEO and President of the company from Scottsdale, Arizona

  1. Alec Burlakoff

Former Vice President of Sales from Charlotte, North Carolina

  1. Richard M. Simon

Former National Director of Sales from Seal Beach, California

  1. Sunrise Lee

Former Regional Sales Director from Bryant City, Michigan

  1. Joseph A. Rowan

Former Regional Sales Director from Panama City, Florida

  1. Michael J. Gurry

Former Vice President of Managed Markets from Scottsdale, Arizona

On January 5, 2017, all of these defendants appeared in federal court for their initial appearance and arraignment. Each has pled not guilty and been released on conditions approved by the court.  A Status Conference hearing followed on September 12, 2017 that is the first of many to be held over several months. That day Massachusetts federal judge set a trial date for October 15, 2018, for the 6 executives.

For now, we have to wait and see if any of the dirty laundries from these alleged white-collar criminals come out in the wash.

Holding Big Pharma Accountable

For a long time, Big Pharma companies have been using unlawful and corrupt tactics for marketing and distribution, which many now see has brought with it some great devastation to communities across the nation. Now, during an opioid crisis that has claimed tens of thousands of lives a year, for several years, these discretions are finally catching up to those accused of corporate greed. The DEA, FBI and Justice Department, along with several state officials and district attorneys, are now aggressively pursuing charges against Big Pharma operators who have a connection to some of the most dangerous and widely abused narcotics on the market.

The acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said in a statement,

“In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions, Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit.

“Today’s arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles,”

Kapoor was arrested in Arizona and his indictment was filed in federal court in Boston. Prosecutors say the charge of conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback law carries the possibility of up to five years in prison. However, the charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud each carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Needless to say, Mr. Kapoor is in for a fight.

But many are still wondering if these executives will truly be held accountable? And truthfully, is it even enough at this point? Even if proven to be indirectly contributing to the opioid epidemic, how could anyone ever know how many lives were damaged or lost because the powerful played around with lethal prescription drugs to line their pockets?

For more important information on the dangers of prescription drugs, download our FREE E-BOOK “Big Secrets of Big Pharma: Why They Secretly Hope You Get Hooked”

DOWNLOAD FREE E-BOOK

With recent reports showing that approximately 64,000 Americans died last year from drug overdose, and an estimated 20,100 overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids like fentanyl, how many of those lives were impacted by drugs like Subsys being forced onto the market with bribes?

More needs to be done to stop Big Pharma companies like Insys Therapeutics Inc from exploiting the system and putting the lives of millions of Americans at risk. And not just the middle-men should be accountable, but also those sitting comfortably at the top these industries. At least this is a start. But for the individual, it all starts with taking action. Getting safe and effective treatment can not just save a life, but help someone build a foundation for a better one. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now. We want to help. 

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Pin It on Pinterest