Drug Company Founder Put ‘Profits over Patients’ to Push Opioid: US Prosecutor

By Nate Raymond | 4 April 2019

REUTERS — The founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc put profits over patients’ safety by bribing doctors to prescribe an addictive fentanyl spray, fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic, a federal prosecutor said Thursday at the end of a landmark trial.

John Kapoor, who served as the drugmaker’s chairman, and four colleagues are the first executives of a painkiller manufacturer to face trial for conduct that authorities say was tied to a drug abuse epidemic that kills tens of thousands of Americans each year.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Yeager told jurors in his closing argument in Boston federal court that Kapoor sought to eliminate the risk of the company failing after investing millions of dollars in founding it by bribing doctors to prescribe Subsys.

Yaeger said the Chandler, Arizona-based company paid doctors to act as speakers at sham events ostensibly meant to educate clinicians about Subsys, which contains fentanyl, a highly potent and addictive opioid.

“They eliminated that risk and transferred it to the patients who were prescribed that drug,” Yeager said. “Profits over patients.” […]

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