Law Billionaire pharmaceutical exec John Kapoor goes on trial for role in opioid crisis -

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-insys-opioids/insys-founder-former-executives-face-opioid-kickback-scheme-trial-idUSKCN1PM11F?utm_source=reddit.com

'Greed' fueled Insys founder's opioid bribe scheme: prosecutor
BOSTON (Reuters) - A lawyer for Insys Therapeutics Inc’s one-time billionaire founder on Monday denied that he had any role in the U.S. opioid crisis as a federal prosecutor told jurors he ran a scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe an addictive fentanyl spray.

John Kapoor, the billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc, arrives at the federal courthouse for the first day of the trial accusing Insys executives of a wide-ranging scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid medication, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

John Kapoor, the drugmaker’s former chairman, and four colleagues are the first painkiller manufacturer executives to face trial over conduct authorities say contributed to an opioid abuse crisis that has killed tens of thousands of people a year.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lazarus told a Boston federal jury at the trial’s start that Kapoor oversaw the bribing of doctors who were paid to act as speakers at poorly-attended sham events at restaurants ostensibly meant to educate clinicians about its product, Subsys.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved Subsys as a treatment for severe cancer pain. Yet Lazarus said doctors who took bribes often prescribed Subsys to patients without cancer, creating higher sales.

“This is a case about greed, about greed and its consequences, the consequences of putting profits over people,” Lazarus said in his opening statement.

Lazarus said Insys also defrauded insurers into paying for Subsys. He said from 2012 to 2015 Kapoor had the help of co-defendants, former Insys executives and managers Michael Gurry, Richard Simon, Sunrise Lee and Joseph Rowan.

Kapoor’s lawyer, Beth Wilkinson, called those charges “patently false.”

She said Kapoor became dedicated to promoting Subsys after observing the pain his wife suffered due to breast cancer. She acknowledged Insys paid doctors but said Kapoor believed doctors really were being paid to talk up the product’s benefits.

“He thought the purpose was to educate other doctors,” Wilkinson told the court.

Kapoor’s 2017 arrest came the same day U.S. President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. In 2017, a record 47,600 people died of opioid-related overdoses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. shutdown costs pegged at $3 billion
In her opening statement, Wilkinson stressed that Subsys only makes up 0.03 percent of all U.S. opioid prescriptions.

“It is certainly not part of the opioid crisis,” she said.

Prosecutors plan to call as witnesses Michael Babich, Insys’ CEO from 2011 to 2015 who Lazarus called Kapoor’s “right-hand man,” and Alec Burlakoff, its ex-vice president of sales. Both have pleaded guilty.

Insys in August said it would pay at least $150 million to resolve a Justice Department probe into its marketing of Subsys.

Reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot
Background:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2016/10/04/death-kickbacks-and-a-billionaire-the-story-of-a-dangerous-opioid/#19ed29426e3f
https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/30/fentanyl-opioid-insys-subsys/

Good. People like this are essentially mega-rich drug lords. The Sackler family in particular is infamous for pushing OxyContin and getting millions of people addicted.
 

Oh Long Johnson

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So, for this drug epidemic, they go for one or two kingpins and will call it a day. But every other one to date features thousands of street dealers getting locked up?

Fuck this. I want to see the hundreds of M.D.s who gave out 60 percs with two refills for a sprained ankle perp walked.
 

pwnest injun

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So, for this drug epidemic, they go for one or two kingpins and will call it a day. But every other one to date features thousands of street dealers getting locked up?

Fuck this. I want to see the hundreds of M.D.s who gave out 60 percs with two refills for a sprained ankle perp walked.
Yeah, but if they didn't write the scrip, then the junkie patient would write them a 1 star review and they'd be fired from their "integrated managed care consortium" and have to work at some clinic for poors.
 

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How many people had their entire lives fucked up by drug addiction that started with painkillers issued to address a rolled ankle? These fucks lied about how addictive their drug was on a technicality, pushed for as many symptoms as possible to justify prescribing it, then bribed doctors to push it onto as many people as possible.

https://theweek.com/articles/541564/how-american-opiate-epidemic-started-by-pharmaceutical-company

If they see jail time I won’t shed a tear over them getting Whitey Bulger’d.
 

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Remember that hashtag about opioids that was huge like a year or two back? Or was that just a Massachusetts thing?
 
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Cosmos

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So, for this drug epidemic, they go for one or two kingpins and will call it a day. But every other one to date features thousands of street dealers getting locked up?

Fuck this. I want to see the hundreds of M.D.s who gave out 60 percs with two refills for a sprained ankle perp walked.
Thank you. The doctors who overprescribed opiates after being bribed to do so are just as culpable. They violated the Hippocratic oath by knowingly giving patients opiates they didn't need. Not all doctors are guilty of course (and even the ones who did overprescribe could have been lied to or are genuinely trying to help their patients), but this epidemic didn't happen in a vacuum.

How many people had their entire lives fucked up by drug addiction that started with painkillers issued to address a rolled ankle? These fucks lied about how addictive their drug was on a technicality, pushed for as many symptoms as possible to justify prescribing it, then bribed doctors to push it onto as many people as possible.

https://theweek.com/articles/541564/how-american-opiate-epidemic-started-by-pharmaceutical-company

If they see jail time I won’t shed a tear over them getting Whitey Bulger’d.
I know, they're fucking evil. Like I said in the OP, the Sackler family deliberately mislead the doctors and the public about the potency and addictiveness of their drug. They knew how dangerous OxyContin is, but they pushed the shit out of it anyway so they could make billions off of it. They had their sales representatives outright lie to doctors' faces by saying that the drug had an addiction risk for patients of “less than one percent,” a claim that had no scientific backing.

These people are literally glorified, legalized drug lords. They don't give a shit about how many lives they destroy as long as they get their money. More money than they could ever spend because they're greedy fucks.
 

Cho Chan

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Remember that hashtag about opioids that was huge like a year or two back? Or was that just a Massachusetts thing?
Nah, ex-mayor of Nashville’s son ODed on opioids and died a couple years ago when she was still in office. How embarrassing.
 

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Remember that in the 90's, in the beginning of the opioid crisis, the Oxycontin creators LIED to doctors about oxycontin's effects. Doctors were told that it would be impossible for their patients to get addicted to oxy, or that addiction rates were extremely low. The companies concealed data intentionally (and were later sued and punished for it). If you look at early marketing info for oxy, you can see that they heavily push the "no risk of dependence" angle.

So there were several years where many well-meaning doctors believed that it would be perfectly safe for them to prescribe oxy, and that was long enough for the drug to get its foothold.

Once they realized what was happening, all the decent doctors were horrified and they stopped prescribing it except for super serious situations. You can spot the shit doctors now by their willingness to prescribe it.
 

Cosmug

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I mean good I guess but I'm afraid this crusade on opioids is going to lead to people that need painkillers being unable to get them.
NSAIDs and Paracetamol are also analgesics, but they don’t have the opium family of drugs addictive effect because they generally lack the ability to pretend to be serotonin. That plus the possibility of drug resistance over long term usage what makes opiates addicting; the fact that you get higher and higher dosages because your current scrip doesn’t cut it anymore. I’m not a biochemist, but that’s info that you can generally get from any good doctor.
 

Frogasm

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I mean good I guess but I'm afraid this crusade on opioids is going to lead to people that need painkillers being unable to get them.
Yeah, I think this is a valid concern, but usually people who genuinely need these painkillers will have tons and tons of paperwork and multiple past doctors testifying to their needs for it, or they are recovering from a wild surgery.

I think it will be HARD for them to get the meds, but it will be doable. And it should be doable, especially for people who are dying and want that process to suck less.

NSAIDs and Paracetamol are also analgesics, but they don’t have the opium family of drugs addictive effect because they generally lack the ability to pretend to be serotonin. That plus the possibility of drug resistance over long term usage what makes opiates addicting; the fact that you get higher and higher dosages because your current scrip doesn’t cut it anymore. I’m not a biochemist, but that’s info that you can generally get from any good doctor.
Agreed. Don't forget though that some people are allergic and or have bad reactions to those kinds of drugs, and NSAIDs and paracetamol/acetaminophen will not deal with as much pain as opioids. They are a great option for 99% of people but they aren't going to work for 1% of people.
 

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Yeah, I think this is a valid concern, but usually people who genuinely need these painkillers will have tons and tons of paperwork and multiple past doctors testifying to their needs for it, or they are recovering from a wild surgery.

I think it will be HARD for them to get the meds, but it will be doable. And it should be doable, especially for people who are dying and want that process to suck less.

Agreed. Don't forget though that some people are allergic and or have bad reactions to those kinds of drugs, and NSAIDs and paracetamol/acetaminophen will not deal with as much pain as opioids. They are a great option for 99% of people but they aren't going to work for 1% of people.
You’re right, the lesson here is specifically about treating opiates with kid gloves. You want to prescribe them ONLY when the alternatives are insufficient precisely because of their dangers. Just like you don’t do open heart surgery to address something that can be handled by lipitor.
 
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Your Weird Fetish

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NSAIDs and Paracetamol are also analgesics, but they don’t have the opium family of drugs addictive effect because they generally lack the ability to pretend to be serotonin. That plus the possibility of drug resistance over long term usage what makes opiates addicting; the fact that you get higher and higher dosages because your current scrip doesn’t cut it anymore. I’m not a biochemist, but that’s info that you can generally get from any good doctor.
Right and next time you get surgery just ask for ibuprofen. Who needs opiate painkillers?
 
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