Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Isabelle Z.
A new lawsuit that accuses a pharmaceutical company of conduct that is “nothing short of evil” echoes the sentiment of many people who have suffered or lost loved ones due to the unsavory practices of Big Pharma.
Big Pharma’s list of wrongdoings is rather lengthy, but the offense that is at the heart of the lawsuit in question filed by New Jersey officials is its deceptive marketing practices and fraudulent payouts.
Last week, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino filed the lawsuit against drug maker Insys Therapeutics of Arizona. Insys is the producer of the controversial fentanyl medication known as Subsys, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller. The suit accuses Insys of flagrant legal violations in its aggressive push to get New Jersey doctors to prescribe it in higher doses for conditions that it has not been approved to treat.
According to Porrino, Insys defrauded insurance firms by giving doctors who overprescribed Subsys payouts in various forms, including as fees for fake speaking events. In addition, the lawsuit pins the death of a 32-year-old New Jersey woman on the company; she overdosed on Subsys that she had been prescribed for fibromyalgia.
Porrino didn’t mince words when describing Insys’s conduct in a statement. He said: “The conduct alleged in our lawsuit is nothing short of evil. We contend that the company used every trick in the book, including sham speaking and consulting fees and other illegal kickbacks, in a callous campaign to boost profits from the sale of its marquee drug Subsys.”
It’s nice to see someone in such a powerful position calling them out on their horrific practices. Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has long been trying to spread the word about the pharmaceutical industry’s criminal racket, summing up their modus operandi nicely when he writes:
“To defend Big Pharma today is to defend a cabal of criminal corporations that have proven they will do anything — absolutely anything — to keep their profits rolling in. It makes no difference who they have to bribe, what studies they have to falsify, or who has to be threatened into silence. They will stop at nothing to expand their profit base, even if it means harming (or killing) countless innocents.”
He also made Americans who are drugged out on opioids and other medications the topic of a recent studio news video after a disturbing study in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that 38 percent of Americans were prescribed these dangerous medications in 2015.
Insys, who has not commented on the New Jersey lawsuit, is also facing litigation in several other states, including allegations that six of its former managers and executives bribed doctors to prescribe Subsys. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey recently reached a settlement with Insys, who did not admit to wrongdoing but paid out $500,000. The medication made up 98 percent of the firm’s net revenue in 2012.
Their behavior is particularly concerning as the nation struggles with an opioid epidemic that is seeing record-setting drug deaths. In fact, drug overdoses have now become the top cause of accidental death for people in the U.S. under the age of 50. According to estimates from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 71,600 people are expected to die from drugs this year, which would make it the second consecutive year in which drug deaths surpass the American casualties of the Vietnam War.
The number of people who have died from fentanyl overdoses doubled in just one year, according to the FDA and the CDC, making it clear that those who push these drugs on the masses need to be held accountable for their actions. It’s unconscionable that pharmaceutical companies and even doctors would try so hard to get people to take dangerous drugs they don’t need all in the name of profit, and we can only hope that the New Jersey Attorney General’s lawsuit against Insys and others like it will be successful.