Doctor loses license, pays $100K fine in health care kickback scheme

LEAWOOD — A Leawood physician has surrendered his medical license after admitting that he told a drug company he would not sell one of its products unless he was hired for more speaking engagements.

Dr. Steven M. Simon gave up his medical license this month, after being sentenced in April to three years of probation for soliciting health care kickbacks, KCUR reported. Simon was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

Simon, a pain doctor, admitted in January that he told a representative for AstraZeneca that he would not continue to prescribe Movantik, which is used to treat constipation caused by opioid medications, unless he was paid for more speaking engagements.

The company then determined it would no longer hire Simon as a speaker, according to his plea.

Doctors can legally accept meals, speaking fees and other compensation from drug and medical device companies but cannot receive kickbacks for prescribing drugs or medical devices.

Simon has also been sued by patients who claimed he prescribed them fentanyl spray because its manufacturer, Insys Therapeutics, was paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees.

One of those lawsuits was settled on confidential terms about a year ago.

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