By Janelle Lawrence: For More Info, Go Here…
The goal for Insys Therapeutics Inc.’s call center in Phoenix was simple: persuade insurers to authorize at least 70 prescriptions a week of its expensive opioid spray.
Workers would get bonuses for surpassing the goals, a former call center manager testified. Even if the patient had minor skin cancer decades earlier, employees were told to lie to insurers to get approval for the powerful and expensive drug, which had only been approved for “breakthrough” cancer pain, Elizabeth Gurrieri told a Boston jury.
“So almost every call from the Insys reimbursement center included lies and misrepresentations?” Assistant U.S. attorney David Lazarus asked Gurrieri.
“Most of them, yes,” she replied.
Gurrieri took the witness stand Friday in the trial of Insys’s founder John Kapoor and four other former executives. As the trial enters its fifth week, Gurrieri is helping prosecutors paint of portrait of a pharmaceutical company that cared only about its bottom line. After witnesses described unethical and high-pressure sales practices, prosecutors have begun showing how the company routinely lied to insurers who would pick up the tab for the drug Subsys.