Fentanyl-Pusher Doctor Indicted as Trump’s War on Opioids Begins
Oct. 27, 2017 (EIRNS)—Day 1 of President Trump’s declaration of a National Health Emergency caused by opioids saw the indictment of Dr. John Kapoor and his Insys Therapeutics, Inc. network of doctors and commission salespersons pushing a highly addictive fentanyl pain-killer, Subsys, for "breakthrough pain."
In 2012, Insys’s new oral spray of the opioid fentanyl was not selling well. Expensive, and highly addictive, it was subject to a tightly controlled distribution system by regulators, who required all suspicious orders to be reported.
Kapoor and Insys then implemented a mass promotion scheme to boost sales, offering speaker fees, marketing payments, dinners, and entertainment perks to bribe doctors to prescribe the drug, and then tricked insurers into paying for it, Bloomberg’S Cynthia Koons and Jef Feeley report.
In 2013, Chandler, Arizona based Insys set aside more than $12.2 million for doctors’ speaking fees, prosecutors told Bloomberg. The indictment said one doctor received $229,000 in speaker fees for appearing at events the indictment described as "sham events that were mere social gatherings also attended by friends and office staff." Insys encouraged doctors to write more prescriptions by hiring their friends and family members to serve as "business liaisons" working in doctors’ offices, but paid by Insys.
The Kapoor case is the most sweeping to date. The 74-year-old Kapoor was arraigned in a Boston Federal court yesterday, where the U.S.magistrate set bail at $1 million; ordered Kapoor to surrender his passport, and be subjected to electronic monitoring.
Insys was not charged in the indictment, after settlement talks with the U.S. Justice Department in Boston. Some lower-level employees also pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors.