Intended for healthcare professionals


Insys and Mallinckrodt settle allegations of paying doctors to prescribe drugs

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 07 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4132
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Two companies that have drawn heavy criticism from legislators investigating some of the drug industry’s worst practices have paid the US government to settle allegations of kickbacks to doctors to prescribe their drugs.

Insys Therapeutics paid $225m (£180m; €200m) to settle allegations of paying kickbacks to off-label prescribers of its fentanyl sublingual spray Subsys, leading to addictions and deaths.

UK based Mallinckrodt paid $15.4m to settle allegations of paying doctors to prescribe an infant epilepsy drug whose price had risen by 97 000%. But within hours of Mallinckrodt settling that case, the government announced another one relating to the marketing of the same drug, Acthar (corticotropin).

Insys will enter into a five year deferred prosecution agreement with the US Justice Department, and its operating subsidiary will plead guilty to five counts of mail fraud.

The founder of Insys, John Kapoor, and …

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