Opioid Drugmaker Faces Felony Charges

U.S. prosecutors charged billionaire Insys Therapuetics founder John Kapoor, PhD, with fraud and racketeering for bribing doctors to write large numbers of prescriptions for the company’s fentanyl-based pain medication. The medication is indicated only for cancer patients with severe pain, but the majority of the prescription recipients did not have cancer. The indictment also alleges that Dr. Kapoor and other executives and managers conspired to mislead and defraud insurance providers who were reluctant to approve payment for the drug when it was prescribed for patients without cancer.

“In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions, [Dr.] 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 D. Weinreb.

In similar cases, several former Insys employees and health-care providers have pled guilty to felony charges around the country, as authorities have started to take legal action to fight the opioid epidemic. For example, a Rhode Island doctor pled guilty to accepting kickbacks in return for prescribing the highly addictive fentanyl spray.

Source: AP News, October 27, 2017.