You might have caught a bit of this story on the national news because it involves a former stripper hired to help sell the drugs.
From the Boston Globe:
The federal government, which has been accused of failing to hold drug companies to account for the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic, hopes to dispel that impression Monday when the first criminal trial of pharmaceutical executives who marketed a painkiller begins.
John N. Kapoor, a onetime billionaire and founder of Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics, is scheduled to go on trial in US District Court in Boston along with four former company executives on charges that they acted more like mobsters than pharmaceutical executives when they sold a brand of fentanyl, a powerful and addictive opioid.
In a trial expected to last up to three months, federal prosecutors will try to convince a jury that the five defendants paid bribes and kickbacks to physicians in a nationwide racketeering conspiracy. The payments allegedly induced doctors to prescribe Subsys, an under-the-tongue fentanyl spray approved to treat severe cancer-related pain, for patients who hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer.
The case features several explosive allegations. Prosecutors say that Insys set up a sham “speakers program” to funnel cash to doctors, adjusted payments based on how many prescriptions doctors wrote, misrepresented patients’ medical histories to dupe insurers into covering Subsys for people without cancer, and even hired a woman who was a former stripper and escort service manager as a key sales executive.
The criminal case marks a rare instance of the government using the criminal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, to go after corporate executives. The statute was approved in 1970, chiefly to prosecute organized crime figures.
Kapoor is the most prominent of the five Insys defendants. A 75-year-old shaggy-haired entrepreneur who was raised in India, lives in Phoenix, and was — until recently — on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires, Kapoor founded Chandler, Ariz.-based Insys in 1990. For more than a decade, he largely funded it out of his own pocket.
If found guilty, Kapoor could get up to 20 years in the slammer.
Much more here.
Pharmaceutical company fraud investigations should be applauded by all Americans, on the political Left and Right, especially as it relates to the deadly opioid crisis destroying lives in middle America.