Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that poured lots of money into opposing weed legalization in Arizona last year just got its payoff—thank you very much.
That payoff came in the form of this week’s preliminary approval from the DEA for its synthetic marijuana drug, Syndros.
Just A Little Reminder
Insys forked over a cool half-million dollars to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, which represented roughly 10 percent of all money the anti-pot group raised to scuttle Arizona’s popular Prop 205 to legalize weed.
Insys was the only pharmaceutical company known to be giving money to oppose legalization last year, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance records.
“It appears they are trying to kill a non-pharmaceutical market for marijuana in order to line their own pockets,” a spokesman for Arizona’s marijuana legalization campaign said of Insys last year.
Of course they are.
Syndros, a synthetic formulation of THC, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last summer to treat nausea, vomiting and weight loss in cancer and AIDS patients.
But now, the DEA’s approval puts Syndros, and its generic formulations, into a Schedule II classification.
In other words, when weed is grown and used in its natural form, the DEA classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug (highly addictive drug with no accepted medical value) along with heroin and meth.
Unless, of course, it is being produced by a friendly, anti-legal-pot pharmaceutical company developing synthetic marijuana, then the DEA is not so picky.
The key difference between the two DEA classifications has to do with medical value and potential for abuse, which are factors determined by the FDA.
Why is the DEA shifting this responsibility to the FDA?
It seems odd in view of the fact that the FDA has, in the past, questioned the DEA’s scheduling procedures, according to records obtained by ATTN, in which the agency advised the DEA to reevaluate its scheduling system.
Another Rotten-To-The-Core Pharma Company
In addition to being really nasty to the legalization movement in Arizona for reasons of blatant greed, Insys is also the subject of numerous state and federal criminal investigations, according to the Washington Post.
There is also a shareholder class action lawsuit underway over Insys’s aggressive marketing of a product containing the potent and deadly opioid painkiller fentanyl.
The Illinois attorney general is suing Insys Therapeutics for “deceptively marketing and selling an addictive fentanyl-based medication, intended to treat cancer pain, to doctors for off-label uses.”
In December, the FBI arrested the company’s former chief executive and five other executives on charges that they “paid kickbacks and committed fraud to sell a highly potent and addictive opioid that can lead to abuse and life threatening respiratory depression.”
Yep, rotten to the core.