Rhode Island physician gets 4 years in prison over opioid kickback scheme

Jerrold Rosenberg, MD, a Rhode Island physician who pled guilty in October 2017 to healthcare fraud and conspiracy to receive kickbacks, was sentenced to four years in prison March 9, according to Reuters.

Dr. Rosenberg admitted he took kickbacks from Insys Therapeutics to prescribe its opioid-based cancer pain drug to patients who did not have cancer.

In the lawsuit, prosecutors claimed Dr. Rosenberg received about $188,000 in speaker fees from Insys Therapeutics from 2012 to 2015. In addition, prosecutors alleged the speaker fees were a factor in his decision to write prescriptions for the highly-addictive opioid-based spray, Subsys, which is only approved by the FDA for use in cancer patients.

The lawsuit also claimed Dr. Rosenberg prescribed Subsys to patients who didn't have cancer and fraudulently indicated his patients had cancer when they didn't to ensure reimbursements from payers.

Dr. Rosenberg must also pay $754,736 in restitution, according to the report.

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