Insys Therapeutics reaches $150m agreement to settle opioid marketing case
The Arizona-based pharma company Insys Therapeutics has reached an agreement to pay $150 million to the US Department of Justice in order to settle criminal and civil investigations into inappropriate sales and commercial practices by former company employees.
The terms of the agreement call for the opioid drug maker to pay $150 million over five years. The settlement agreement also covered the potential for an additional $75 million contingency based payments.
"This is a very important step for our company to move forward and continue our transformative efforts to foster a compliant and ethical culture and to execute against our well-differentiated product pipeline, which we believe can bring value to patients globally," said Saeed Motahari, President and Chief Executive Officer of Insys Therapeutics.
The settlement agreement has come after a whistle-blower alleged that Insys had used both overt and disguised bribes in order to influence doctor’s behaviour.
Maria Guzman, a former Insys sales representative and whistle-blower said,"Sex, money, luxury items – nothing was out of bounds in Insys's efforts to persuade doctors to prescribe Subsys without consideration of what was best for patients."
Guzman further complained that Insys paid doctors thousands of dollars in so-called ‘speaking fees’ in order to influence their behaviour.