Cash, Lap Dances, and Food are Decent Incentives to Prescribe Opioids

Five Manhattan doctors were bribed to over-prescribe a highly potent and addictive spray version of fentanyl.

Physician Bribery / Image: Fierce Healthcare
Physician Bribery / Image: Fierce Healthcare

It seems there are more and more stories about drugmakers deterring the use of opioids and working with the FDA to develop non-addictive versions. However a recent NBC News article covered an instance where the opposite occurred. According to the report, five doctors in Manhattan received “speaker fees” in the form of cash, fancy dinners, and trips to the strip club.

The drugmaker, Insys Therapeutics, allegedly paid the doctors more than $800,000 to prescribe the addictive opioid spray, which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, to patients regardless of whether or not it was necessary. The five doctors were indicted on charges including conspiracy that could carry a sentence of 20 years in prison.

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