Kenneth Sun, MD, a pain management physician with locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, has been indicted for his role in a kickback scheme for prescribing large volumes of fentanyl narcotics.
Five things to know:
1. Dr. Sun, owner of Progressive Pain Solutions in Phillipsburg, N.J., and Wind Gap, Pa., allegedly solicited and received in excess of $140,000 in kickbacks and bribes from Insys Therapeutics to prescribe more than 28 million micrograms of Subsys, an opioid narcotic.
2. Subsys is designed to be sprayed on the patient's tongue and enter the body quickly. It contains fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
3. Dr. Sun allegedly prescribed Subsys to patients for medically unnecessary reasons and patients who were not eligible for insurance reimbursement. Subsys has FDA clearance for treating pain in cancer patients who already receive constant therapy for persistent pain.
4. As part of his arrangement with Insys, Dr. Sun received the kickbacks in the form of "honoraria" for his role in educational presentations about Subsys. The presentations were touted as informational sessions, but the audience lacked sufficient licensed providers, Subsys wasn't the focus of the presentations and in some cases the same individuals attended multiple sessions. In other cases, Dr. Sun was not present at the sessions.
5. According to the indictment, Dr. Sun caused Medicare to pay $847,000 for unnecessary Subsys prescriptions and that were not eligible for Medicare reimbursement.