An Upper East Side doctor busted for doling out opioids — in exchange for six-figure kickbacks — is being sued by a former patient who says the doc’s drugs turned him into a junkie.
Mark Gruenspecht claims Dr. Gordon Freedman prescribed him Subsys, a highly-addictive fentanyl spray used to treat cancer pain in 2012 — even though he didn’t have the disease, according to court papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Thursday.
Freedman, of Upper East Side Pain Medicine, continued prescribing Gruenspecht the spray for the next three years in “alarmingly high dosages,” the suit states.
As a result, Gruenspecht became severely addicted to the narcotic and suffered from opioid-induced hyperalgesia, a sickness that makes drug users more sensitive to pain, court papers claim.
Gruenspecht is also suing Insys Therapeutics, the company that makes Subsys, for “failing to provide accurate and necessary medical information… regarding drug side effects, including the extreme danger of addiction,” according to the lawsuit.
“This is one of the most unfortunate aspects of a national pandemic involving opioid addiction,” said Marc Bern, Gruenspecht’s lawyer.
“This problem involving fentanyl and Insys and doctors like Dr. Freedman has been one of the leading factors in creating this national healthcare emergency.”
Freedman was charged with four other physicians in March for raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in sham speaking fees from Insys as payback for prescribing the fentanyl spray.
The so-called speakers programs, pitched as educating other doctors about the spray, were often just parties at pricey restaurants, authorities said.
Freedman, a certified pain management practitioner, personally collected more than $300,000 in phony fees, according to a federal indictment.
His lawyer Sam Braverman maintained his client’s innocence in response to Gruenspecht’s suit.
“The basics are that my client did not cause anybody to become an opioid addict, period,” Braverman said. “My client has an outstanding reputation as a very concerned and caring doctor who has treated literally hundreds of patients and provided outstanding care to them.”
Insys declined to comment.
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