Billionaire Pharma Exec Arrested for Bribing Doctors to Push Opioids

Billionaire drug company founder and majority shareholder, John Kapoor, was arrested after an investigation concluded he was bribing doctors into over-prescribing a opioid painkiller that his company manufactures.

Kapoor, who founded the drug company Insys Therapeutics, was arrested in Arizona on Thursday. The company produces the drug kn0wn as Subsys, a powerful painkiller created as a spray-version of Fentanyl. The drug is used to treat patients plagued by intense pain in the final stages of cancer and has been on the market since 2012. The drug has been used to tranquilize large animals, and is suspected to be one of the main culprits in the looming opioid epidemic.

“In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions, Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit,” Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb said. “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.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston, in exchange for bribes and kickbacks, doctors wrote out a huge numbers of prescriptions for patients, most of them hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer to begin with. If found guilty, Kapoor faces a 25-year sentence in prison and it seems likely that the doctors and other company executives, who have been found guilty in the scheme, will serve jail time as well.

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