25.1.20

Pharma Exec Buys Reduced Sentence, Gets 5yrs For Aggresively Marketing Opiates

Former billionaire and pharmaceutical executive John Kapoor has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison. His sentencing is the culmination of a months-long criminal trial in Boston's Moakley U.S. Courthouse that resulted in the first successful prosecution of pharmaceutical executives tied to the opioid epidemic.

The 76-year-old is the founder of Insys Therapeutics, which made and aggressively marketed the potent opioid painkiller Subsys.

Kapoor's 66-month prison term is substantially less than the 15-year sentence recommended by federal prosecutors, but it is more than the one year requested by Kapoor's defense attorneys, who maintained the executive's innocence and stressed his old age as reason for a short prison sentence.



U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs explained that she reached the lesser sentence after considering Kapoor's advanced age and philanthropy, as well as "his central role in the crime," The Associated Press reported.

Kapoor and four other executives were found guilty last year of orchestrating a criminal conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe the company's medication, including to patients who didn't need it. They then lied to insurance companies to make sure the costly oral fentanyl spray was covered.

The painkiller, which was intended for cancer patients, could cost as much as $19,000 a month.

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