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Opioid crisis: The founder of a condemned laboratory – Monde

The founder of the American pharmaceutical laboratory Insys was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison on Thursday for paying doctors to prescribe his opiate drugs. This is a first for the owner of a laboratory.

John Kapoor, 76, was convicted of a criminal association in May 2019 by a Boston federal court after a 10-week trial. Six other former managers of Insys had already been sentenced to terms ranging from 12 to 33 months in prison.

To increase sales of their fentanyl spray, an analgesic whose power reaches 50 to 100 times that of morphine, the leaders had set up a system of large-scale bribes.

Excessive consumption encouraged

Between 2012 and 2015, they paid health professionals to prescribe in large quantities the painkiller, marketed by Insys under the name of Subsys. Doctors were not only encouraged to recommend the spray to more patients than medically necessary, but also to force the doses, beyond the limits set by the dosage.

Officially, payments were made in exchange for these doctors’ interventions in front of other health professionals to extol the benefits of the drug. In some years Insys has paid more than ten million dollars (9.7 million francs) in bribes this way.

The leaders of the laboratory had also implemented a scheme to facilitate the reimbursement of fentanyl by health insurance companies. According to Insys’ annual report, sales of Subsys reached $ 329.5 million (CHF 319.5 million) in 2015. The group went public in 2013.

Bankruptcy filing

John Kapoor, a former billionaire, had resigned from the board in October 2017, a few days after his indictment. In 2017, more than 28,000 Americans died from an overdose of fentanyl or an equivalent drug, from the family of synthetic opiates.

As part of an amicable agreement with the United States Department of Justice, Insys had agreed, in June, to pay $ 225 million (218 million francs) to settle the lawsuits against the company. But a few days later, the group filed for bankruptcy to prepare the sale of all its assets, assessing their value between 100 and 500 million dollars (between 97 and 485 million francs). This procedure jeopardizes the full payment of compensation for the United States. (Ps / nxp)

Created: 24.01.2020, 04h24

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