Drug execs found guilty in opioid bribery case

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Several drug executives have been found guilty on charges related to a racketeering scheme involving kickbacks for doctors who prescribed large quantities of fentanyl painkiller spray.

Insys Therapeutics CEO John Kapoor, 75, and four other executives were found guilty by a federal jury in Boston on Thursday, USA Today reported.{mosads}

The jury found Kapoor guilty of charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering. Insys’s former national sales director Richard Simon and regional sales directors Sunrise Lee and Joseph Rowan were all found guilty on related charges.

Kapoor was arrested in 2017 in Arizona and charged with racketeering conspiracy.

Prosecutors claimed Insys executives conspired to give kickbacks to doctors who prescribed Subsys, a powerful painkiller containing fentanyl meant for cancer patients. Prosecutors said doctors prescribed the drug to patients who did not suffer from cancer.

Two other former Insys officials, former CEO Michael Babich and former vice president of sales Alec Burlakoff, previously pleaded guilty in the case and testified against their colleagues during the 10-week trial, according to USA Today.

According to the complaint, bribes paid to practitioners who prescribed large amounts of the drug exceeded $200,000 in some cases. They were largely disguised as fees paid for marketing events, USA Today reported.

Physicians who took bribes to prescribe the drug to noncancer patients reportedly operated in states including Michigan, Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, New Hampshire, Alabama, Connecticut and Illinois.

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