Founding father of the opioid firm Insys, others lose appeals for convictions

© Reuters. John Kapoor, the billionaire and founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc, arrives in federal court on day one of the trial, accusing Insys executives of a far-reaching plan to bribe doctors for an addictive opioid drug in Boston, Ma. to prescribe

Stamped by Nate Raymond and Jonathan

BOSTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the judges' convictions of Insys Therapeutics Inc's founder John Kapoor and four other corporate officials for their roles in a program to bribe doctors to prescribe addictive opioids and defraud insurers, so that they pay for it.

The 1st US Court of Appeals in Boston ruled 3-0 that "unadulterated greed" drove the defendants to market the Subsys fentanyl spray to doctors at the "pill factory" who would then prescribe it to patients with no medical need.

In a 138-page decision, Circuit Judge Bruce Selya wrote that Insys and Kapoor, who had previously been CEOs, "deserved great credit" for developing Subsys for the treatment of cancer pain, but "became a blessing" in their pursuit of profit . into a curse. "

77-year-old Kapoor was convicted in 2019 and is serving a 5-1 / 2-year prison term.

He remains the senior pharmaceutical manager convicted of driving the U.S. opioid epidemic settlement 2021-08-19.

His co-defendants Michael Gurry, Sunrise Lee, Joseph Rowan and Richard Simon were sentenced to prison terms ranging from one year to 2-3 / 4 years.

Kapoor's lawyer declined to comment. The other defendants' attorneys and the US Attorney's Office in Boston, which was prosecuting the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prosecutors said Insys used ostensible "speaker programs" to allegedly educate the medical community to pay bribes and kickbacks to doctors who then prescribed Subsys, often to non-cancer patients.

Kapoor also led efforts to defraud insurers who were reluctant to pay for Subsys, prosecutors said.

Fentanyl is a particularly powerful opioid, up to 100 times stronger than morphine. Insys, based in Chandler, Arizona, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019.

A lower court judge had set aside some of the jury's findings, but the 1st District restored the original judgments.

The appeals court also overturned the defendants' restitution and recovery orders, with the exception of Kapoor's recovery, and ordered their recalculation. Kapoor's punishment included a $ 59.8 million refund and a forfeiture of $ 1.9 million.

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