American Opioid Epidemic: Not Helping the Crisis

The prescribing of fentanyl is highly regulated by the FDA as it’s a scheduled II drug. This means that it’s rather addictive and subject to abuse. Some pharmaceutical companies are seeking to enter this market by formulating the drug in different forms of administration (ie: spray, injection, oral, etc.). Michael Babich from Insys Therapeutics was arrested for bribing doctors to prescribe Insys Therapeutics’ mouth spray formulation of fentanyl (Herper, 2016b). The oral spray is given under the patient’s tongue and is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream to reduce pain. This is especially critical in patients that suffer from severe cancer pain. Lastly, the indictment against Babich also proves evidence of giving prescribers monetary compensation in order to write prescriptions for Subsys®. During August 2012 to May 2015, Insys allegedly paid $731,475.07 to get doctors to speak on their behalf, and doctors wrote 7,974 prescriptions for Subsys®.