APRN pleads guilty to taking kickbacks from pharmaceutical manufacturer

A Connecticut Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) pleaded guilty to accepting kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company, which led her to inappropriately prescribe a pain pill manufactured for cancer patients, according to an announcement from the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.  

Heather Alfonso, an APRN with Comprehensive Pain and Headache Treatment Center (CPHTC) in Derby, Connecticut, was the highest prescriber of the pain drug in the state, tallying more than $1 million in claims. Interviews with Alfonso's patients revealed she was prescribing the drug for chronic pain rather than cancer pain as the drug was intended. Investigators subsequently determined that Alfonso had been paid $83,000 to speak at more than 70 dinners hosted by the pharmaceutical manufacturer of the drug. Often, the only attendees at these dinners were sales reps, or other individuals that were not licensed to prescribe drugs. Announcement