Suspected of bribing doctors to prescribe his powerful opioid fentanyl, the US laboratory Insys Therapeutics will pay $ 225 million.
After the Johnson & Johnson lab, it's Insys Therapeutics's turn. Suspected of bribing doctors to force him to prescribe his powerful fentanyl opioid, the US laboratory has agreed to pay $ 225 million (200 million euros) and its subsidiary Insys Pharma to plead guilty fraud in order to put an end to the judicial proceedings instituted against him, reports the New York Times.
Insys "privileged its benefits to the health of thousands of patients"
"For years, Insys has been unlawful in focusing its profits on the health of thousands of patients," said US Attorney Andrew Lelling. "Today, the company is held responsible for this fault, and its role in the epidemic of opioids". The Ministry of Justice said that "payments will be spread over five years".
The opioid manufacturer allegedly bribed doctors and used other illegal business practices to increase sales of its subsys, a fentanyl-based mouthwash, an opioid pain reliever that is about 100 times more potent than morphine. Originally intended to relieve the suffering of people with cancer, the laboratory has done everything possible to administer to other patients, making them completely dependent.
"An irreversible spiral"
"Today, there are more overdoses in patients with chronic pain than in drug users", was recently alarmed The Parisian Nicolas Authier, president of the French Observatory for Analgesic Medicines. Anyone can sink. "This is not a specific issue for drug users: we are talking here about women (60%) and men aged 40, 50, 60, with no history of drug use, who are confronted with chronic pain. some of the psychiatric comorbidities, for others family problems or at work, they find themselves dragged into the irreversible spiral of addiction ".
US authorities have decided to turn against the pharmaceutical companies, accused of being at the origin of this health crisis which has cost the lives of 200,000 Americans in recent years.
Opioid crisis linked to increased organ donation
The situation is such that the opioid crisis has resulted in a significant increase in heart transplants in the country. In 2017, of all heart transplants in 11 US states, more than 20% of donors had died from an overdose (in 2000, less than 1% of donors died for this reason). The overdose was multiplied by 14 between 2000 and 2017.
Each year, 12 million French are treated with opium-based medicines, including 1 million per opioid strong. Between 2004 and 2007, the additional requirements for strong opioids, such as Oxycodone and Fentanyl, increased by 100% (500,000 additional prescriptions). As a result, hospitalizations for overdoses and the number of related deaths have exploded since the 2000s (+ 167% and + 146%).