EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The United States has filed a civil lawsuit against Dr. Peter J. Baddick, III, a family medicine doctor.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the complaint alleges that Dr. Baddick issued medically unnecessary prescriptions for Subsys, a fentanyl-based spray, used to treat cancer pain, manufactured by Insys Therapeutics.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says Insys had been previously prosecuted by the United States once before and agreed to a global resolution of the government’s separate civil and criminal investigations.
Attorney John C. Gurganus says the complaint also alleges Dr. Baddick violated the False Claims Act by prescribing Subsys to patients for who the fentanyl-based drug was either medically unnecessary or just inappropriate. These prescriptions were submitted to and paid through Medicare and TRICARE, federal healthcare programs.
The United States Attorney’s Office specifically states that from April through December of 2015, Dr. Baddick prescribed Subsys to two patients, neither of who had cancer and continued to write the prescription even after they raised concerns about the drug’s effects.
According to a press release, the federal healthcare programs paid $308,701.94 for 18 Subsys prescriptions to the two patients.
As part of the civil resolution, Insys agreed to $195M to settle allegations it violated the False Claims Act and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the government as its operating subsidiary pleaded guilty to five counts of mail fraud and the company was subject to a $2M fine and $28 M in forfeiture.
“The Department of Justice has a duty to protect the health and welfare of our citizensU.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus
and to ensure that the taxpayer dollars that fund the federal healthcare programs are only
expended for necessary medical services. Subsys is a potent and addictive opioid that was approved to treat cancer patients suffering from breakthrough pain. It is also a very expensive drug. Doctors who write medically unnecessary prescriptions for Subsys irresponsibly risk their patients’ well-being at taxpayer expense. It is imperative that we hold these healthcare providers accountable for their actions.”
The claims made against Dr. Baddick are allegations only and there has been not been any determination of liability as of yet.