Nurse Took Kickbacks to Prescribe Pain Pills to Medicare Patients

Heather Alfonso, a Connecticut nurse was caught accepting $83,000 in kickbacks from a drug company based in Arizona to push their pain medication to Medicare patients.

Alfonso had been working for a busy Derby Connecticut pain clinic, and Insys Therapeutics used that to their advantage by paying Alfonso to help prescribe Subsys.

Prosecutors say Alfonso also took part in speaking engagements for the company, although it too was a ruse. Many times, friends, family and colleagues wrote on Skout as well as attended these events, yet none had any authority to buy or prescribe Insys drugs.

This isn’t the first brush with the law for Insys. In 2013, the Arizona Office of Inspector General subpoenaed Insys regarding potential violations with their sales and marketing practices, and in 2014 there were talks of a prescription scandal and kickbacks.

In fact, Insys has been under investigation for years and has bounced around on investigations of multiple kickbacks, and possible securities fraud, and hiring physicians with questionable reputations.

It’s rare that prosecutors go after the individuals who accept the kickback, instead opting to go for the bigger fish, but it looks like they are making a statement by going after both.

Alfonso has an advanced registered nursing license that allowed her to prescribe medication. She has accepted a plea agreement and could be sentenced to fives years in prison.