John Kapoor, the 74-year-old founder and majority owner of Chandler, Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics Inc., was arrested for illegally distributing Subsys, a narcotic 80 times more powerful than morphine, and for violating anti-kickback laws.

The massive initial success of Subsys, which made Insys one of Arizona’s all-time hottest stocks, was soon curtailed as investigations into the company’s business practices widened.

The indictment brought additional charges against several former high-level Insys employees who were originally indicted in December. These included:

  • Alec Burlakoff – Insys’ former vice president of sales
  • Richard Simon – Former national director of sales
  • Sunrise Lee – Former regional sales director
  • Joseph Rowan – Former regional sales director
  • Michael Gurry – Insys’ former vice president of managed markets

The above are charged with conspiring to bribe medical practitioners in various states to prescribe Subsys, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In exchange for kickbacks, the practitioners wrote huge numbers of prescriptions for the drug to their patients, most of whom did not have cancer, the complaint states.

“In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions, Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit,” said Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb. “Today’s arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable — just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer.”

Kapoor was to appear in federal court in Phoenix on Thursday, and later in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Source: CBS News

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