Ever wonder how the Opioid epidemic got started? Maybe lots of sick people? Many accidents? Perhaps too many junkies? Nope. Greedy C.E.O.'s.
A couple of weeks ago, John Kapoor, CEO of Insys, a drug company, along with 4 other executives, were convicted for racketeering after a 10-week trial and 15 days of jury deliberations, If you don't know what racketeering means it's basically just being involved in dishonest and fraudulent business dealings.
“Today’s convictions mark the first successful prosecution of top pharmaceutical executives for crimes related to the illicit marketing and prescribing of opioids, just as we would street-level drug dealers, we will hold pharmaceutical executives responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic by recklessly and illegally distributing these drugs, especially while conspiring to commit racketeering along the way. This is a landmark prosecution that vindicated the public’s interest in staunching the flow of opioids into our homes and streets,”
said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement
Kapoor and his partners in crime were involved in a marketing plan that included phony speaking fees, parties at strip clubs and expensive restaurants, all of this with the end goal of selling their medication, called Subsys; A drug containing Fentanyl, an Opioid 100 times stronger than Morphine, to have them force prescriptions of this drug in favor of other drugs. 'Cause of course they did. I'm not even in the slightest surprised by this. Of course they did.
Subsys was originally approved by the FDA as a heavy-duty pain killer for terminal cancer patients, but Insys execs decided to prescribe that stuff to people with chronic pain. If you can't tell why that is totally f***ed up, read our article on why opioids suck. If you want the TL;DR version, basically it's overkill. Not only that, but they're taking this over-the-top medication on a regular basis, which OF COURSE will get them hooked up on it and then they'll just keep coming back for it. The extent of this ring of corruption goes as far as employees of Insys posing as doctors and submitting phony diagnoses to insurance companies to pay for Subsys, with bills going for as much as $20k per month. Meanwhile John Q. Patient is getting addicted to this crap and throwing his life down the drain. Good one.
39 witnesses testified in the trial, including Gavin Awerbuch, a Michigan doctor who was sentenced to more than two years in prison for prescribing Subsys to patients who didn't really need it, earning more than $130K over 18 months for educational speaking engagements that were often attended by friends and neighbors when other doctors didn't assist.
“They were a farce really, it was just easy money for me. I got paid $1,600 to show up, have a nice meal and go home.’’
Insys preyed on doctors as greedy as themselves. Takes one to know one, I guess. I think the bottomline here is that greed and ignorance aren't a good combination. We can't rely on doctors anymore. It shouldn't be that way, and I'm sure a few rotten apples don't mean the whole bunch is spoiled, but then again, we can't just believe anything they say anymore. We gotta do our own research and then ask for a second opinion, because they might as well prescribe you poison and you wouldn't know it. We are putting our lives in the hands of a stranger and we gotta hope that stranger has our best interest in mind, but sometimes, they might have other interests, too. #JustSaying.
Visit HighTimes.com to read more about this:
Thanks very much for reading and if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it or help us keep this going by visiting our shop and purchasing a t-shirt and follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to find out about the latest posts and giveaways and as always, stay happy!