John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics, has been convicted following a case surrounding the US opioid crisis.
Kapoor, in addition to four of his colleagues, were found to be guilty by a Boston jury. The five conspired to offer bribes to doctors for prescribing addictive painkillers. This was often done to patients who had no need for same. Kapoor has been found guilty of conspiracy to racketeer, as his role in the scheme also misled insurers.
This was done so the sales of Subsys, his firm’s fentanyl spray, could increase. Fentanyl, which is known to be as much as 100 times stronger than morphine, is typically used for severe pain that results from serious operations such as cancer treatment. During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Kapoor’s bribery scheme was also getting doctors to promote Subsys at fake marketing events.
Opioid overdoses have been the cause of tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. This is one of the reasons Kapoor’s conviction is seen as a victory for the US government, as it has been targeting companies that contributed to the acceleration of the opioid crisis.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids had a part to play in approximately 48,000 deaths in the year 2017. This is a class of drug that includes legally prescribed painkillers such as Oxycontin, and it also includes illegal substances such as heroin. The risk of overdose has heightened as there has been an increase in illegal opioid use and street drugs are filled with powerful ingredients such as Fentanyl.
Kapoor’s co-defendants include Sunrise Lee, Richard Simon, Joseph Rowan, and Michael Gurry. They are all now facing the possibility of up to 20 years behind bars. Kapoor’s lawyer has expressed disappointment with the verdict, and he has indicated that the defendants are planning to appeal.