Watch On-Demand: Pushing opioids. Bribing doctors. Making millions.
About the Program: Frontline and the Financial Times investigate how Insys Therapeutics profited from a fentanyl-based painkiller up to 100 times stronger than heroin — and how some Wall Street investors looked the other way. Frontline: Opioids, Inc.
Opioids, Inc. tells the inside story of how Insys profited from Subsys, a fast-acting fentanyl-based spray that’s been linked to hundreds of deaths. Tactics included targeting high-prescribing doctors and nurse practitioners known as “whales,” misleading insurers, and holding contests for the sales team: the higher the prescription doses they got doctors to write, the larger the cash prize — despite the dangers to patients. But as the documentary traces in unprecedented detail, the scheme fell apart: With federal prosecutors using anti-racketeering laws designed to fight organized crime, Insys became the first pharmaceutical company to have its CEO sentenced to prison time in federal court in connection with the opioid crisis.
This film is part of the New York State Public Media Overdose Epidemic, an initiative funded by the New York State Education Department that has called on NYS public media organizations to create a multi-platform project to help address mental health and addiction throughout the state. The project includes broadcast offerings, online content, and special events, like this screening. The NYS stations will also work to create comprehensive digital teaching tools, online learning, and essential instructional content.