PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that his office (AGO) obtained a consent judgment with Dr. Steve Fanto, a Scottsdale-based pain management doctor. The settlement resolves the State’s claims that Dr. Fanto took hundreds of thousands of dollars in sham educational “speaker fees” from Chandler-based Insys Therapeutics in exchange for prescribing Subsys, a highly addictive opioid prescription drug that contains fentanyl.
“Doctors have a primary obligation to protect the health and well-being of their patients and must exercise caution when accepting payments from pharmaceutical companies to promote opioids,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We will hold accountable those who improperly profited from Arizona’s opioid crisis.”
Under the settlement, Dr. Fanto must forfeit all of the money he collected from Insys for alleged sham “speaker fees” and pay an additional $152,000 in civil penalties to the State. In addition, Dr. Fanto is barred from receiving any money or substantial gifts from any pharmaceutical companies while holding a license to practice medicine in the State of Arizona.
Today’s settlement is the latest development in the multi-defendant lawsuits filed by the AGO related to Insys’s illegal and unethical opioid sales practices. Previous settlements included a $9.5 million settlement with Insys’s former Vice President of Sales, a $2 million settlement with the former CEO of Insys, and over $500,000 in combined settlements with two other Arizona doctors who accepted speaker fees from Insys Therapeutics. Insys itself pleaded guilty to federal charges, declared bankruptcy, and ceased to exist. The AGO’s consumer fraud lawsuit continues against John Kapoor, the founder and former President of Insys.
Senior Litigation Counsel Mitchell Allee, Laura Dilweg, and Jennifer Bonham, Assistant Attorney General Sam Fox, and Unit Chief Matthew du Mee are handling the case for the State.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.