The higher the dose, the higher the bonus. That was the deal that Insys Therapeutics made with doctors to get them to push fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, to patients.
As an incentive for prescribing dangerously addictive doses of of the drug, doctors got illegal cash and even lap dances from a former exotic dancer employed by the drug company. To help the doctors out, Insys even produced a hip hop video advertising fentanyl directly to patients.
Their patients got hooked, and Insys got rich.
A grand jury in Boston found Insys guilty of racketeering last week, sending several top executives to jail. But this disgusting story raises bigger questions. How could our government have failed so badly to protect us from corporate scam artists?
Sadly, big campaign donations may be part of the reason.
Take a look, for example, at West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Part of Morrisey’s job is to lead our state’s lawsuits against companies who helped cause opioid crisis. Yet when he ran for office, his campaign accepted over $272,000 from pharmaceutical companies, including at least one company that the Attorney General’s office had a lawsuit against.
The Insys lawsuit shows that some pharmaceutical companies who will stop at nothing to make big bucks. It’s time for elected officials who will protect us and our families, instead of selling us out to drug dealers in suits.
Let’s say “no” to candidates who take campaign money from opioid pushers.