Pain physician pleads guilty to accepting $66K in Insys kickback scheme


A Maryland pain physician has pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks for prescribing pain medication from Insys, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun.


Howard Hoffberg, MD, 65, former owner and medical director of Towson, Md.-based Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management, admitted June 8 to accepting $66,000 from Insys in exchange for prescribing Subsys, the company's fentanyl spray. The practice closed in February 2018.

The contract between Dr. Hoffberg and Insys made it appear the payments were for speaking engagements. However, the federal government considers the presentations a sham. Some were canceled, while others included individuals who attended the same presentation multiple times.

Several other physicians across the U.S. have been charged with or pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks from Insys. In 2020, Insys agreed to a $225 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to end criminal and civil probes related to improper arrangements with physicians. Former Insys CEO Michael Babich was sentenced to 30 months in prison in January for his role in the kickback scheme.

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