The jury presiding over the case came to a guilty verdict over the accusations presented against the Insys executives who include Kapoor, its founder and former director of sales nationally. The five individuals were accused of offering kickbacks and bribes to doctors so that they could over-prescribe Insys’ fentanyl-based painkiller spray called Subsys to patients who did not necessarily need it.
The jury came to the conclusion that the Insys executives were guilty after evaluating the evidence in 15 days of deliberation before submitting their conclusion to the Boston Federal Court that has been handling the case. The guilty verdict represents the first ever case that the CEO of a drug firm has been convicted as part of the Federal government’s fight against the opioid crisis in the U.S.
Kapoor who is also a former Insys chairman, was found guilty of conspiracy and racketeering charges. The other executives that were also found guilty of racketeering include Michael J. Gurry, the former vice president in charge of markets, Richard M. Simon who was the previous national sales director, Lee and Joseph A. Rowan who formerly acted as the company’s regional directors.
Former Insys salesmen revealed during the court case that their bonuses were tied to the Subsys doses prescribed by patients. They also revealed that they would have to explain themselves to their bosses if the product was prescribed in low doses.
Subsys is not only expensive but it also has a high likelihood of addiction for patients. According to the Times, the painkiller is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Meanwhile, top Federal prosecutor Andrew Lelling who is based in Massachusetts described the court and jury’s guilty verdict against the Insys executives as a landmark prosecution in the fight against opioids.
“Today’s convictions mark the first successful prosecution of top pharmaceutical executives for crimes related to the illicit marketing and prescribing of opioids,” stated Lelling.
The maximum prison sentence for those found guilty of racketeering in the U.S is 20 years. The judge presiding over the case is yet to give the final ruling over the sentencing.