2 More Insys Execs Sentenced In Opioid Bribery Scheme


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Two more former Insys Therapeutics executives were sentenced Wednesday in the Isys Therapeutics bribery scheme.

Former Insys CEO Michael Babich and former Regional Sales Director Sunrise Lee are the latest executives from the Arizona pharmaceutical company to face prison time in the plot, which involved bribing doctors and deceiving insurers to prescribe Subsys, a powerful fentanyl-based painkiller spray, to cancer patients—many of whom did not need it.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling's office also said they "conspired to mislead and defraud health insurance providers who were reluctant to approve payment for the expensive drug when it was prescribed for patients without cancer."

Prosecutors said the scheme helped fuel the opioid epidemic.

Babich pleaded guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud in 2018, and Lee was convicted of racketeering conspiracy last May.

Lee was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, three years of supervised release, and restitution to be determined at a later date.

"The prescribers bribed by Lee became some of the most prolific prescribers of the drug," Lelling's office said in a release. "Lee obtained agreements from the doctors to write significant quantities of Subsys prescriptions, and prescriptions in increasing dosages, in exchange for participation in the Insys speaker program, a vehicle used to pay kickbacks."

Babich, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was sentenced to 30 months.

Babich told the judge he takes full responsibility for his actions, but pleaded for a lenient sentence, saying that he was a young 35-year-old CEO at the time and in over his head. The judge, however, said that Babich was a co-architecht of the scheme, and would have gotten an even harsher sentence had he not cooperated with authorities.

The first of the seven convicted executives, Insys's former Vice President of Managed Markets Michael Gurry, was sentenced January 13.

First Executive Sentenced In Insys Opioid Bribery Case - Thumbnail Image

First Executive Sentenced In Insys Opioid Bribery Case

On Tuesday, the company's former Regional Sales Director Joseph Rowan and former National Director of Sales Richard Simon were sentenced to 27 and 33 months, respectively.

WBZ NewsRadio's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports

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