Doctor gets 2 years prison in bribe scam over painkiller

NEW YORK (AP) — A doctor once honored for his efforts in relieving patients’ chronic pain has been sentenced to two years in prison for accepting bribes to prescribe large amounts of a highly addictive painkiller.

Todd Schlifstein was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Schlifstein was among five New York doctors charged last year with accepting bribes in the form of speaking fees to prescribe millions of dollars’ worth of a fentanyl-based spray.

Prosecutors say the spray made by the Arizona company Insys Therapeutics Inc. is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

A message was left with Insys seeking comment.

The New York state Assembly in 2016 honored Schlifstein as a founding director of the New York State Pain Society.

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