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R.I. doctor sentenced to prison for opioid kickback scheme

A Rhode Island doctor who admitted to receiving kickbacks in exchange for prescribing a powerful opioid spray to cancer patients was sentenced Friday to more than four years in federal prison, officials said.

Jerrold N. Rosenberg, 63, who operated a now-defunct pain management practice, must also reimburse Medicare nearly $755,000 for falsely prescribing the drug to cancer patients from 2012 to 2015, the US attorney’s office for Rhode Island said in a press release.

Rosenberg, of Warren, R.I., pleaded guilty last October to charges of health care fraud and conspiracy to receive kickbacks, the release stated.

He admitted then that he prescribed Subsys, a fentanyl-based spray, in return for more than $188,000 in kickbacks from the drug’s maker, Insys Therapeutics Inc. of Arizona, the release stated.

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At his sentencing Friday, three former patients testified about the “severe and debilitating” effects of the drug, and Rosenberg’s indifference to their concerns, according to prosecutors.


Lucas Phillips can be reached at lucas.phillips@globe.com.