BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The founder of Insys Pharmaceuticals was in federal court in Boston Thursday afternoon, the last of seven former executives of the company sentenced in a drug bribery scandal that prosecutors say fueled the national opioid epidemic.
John Kapoor was ordered to serve 66 months in prison and pay a $250,000 fine. It was far less than the 180-month sentence federal prosecutors had called for.
Kapoor is accused of masterminding a scheme to bribe doctors into prescribing more and more of his company's fentanyl spray, Subsys—whether or not those they were prescribing it to were terminal cancer patients, the only ones the FDA approved it for. Kapoor was convicted of racketeering conspiracy in May 2019.
At his sentencing, seven people shared stories of immense physical, emotional, and financial losses due to the narcotic. People who lost their teeth, their memories, their families. Among them was a war veteran who was prescribed the equivalent of a gram of heroin a day.
Federal prosecutors called Kapoor the lynchpin to a criminal agreement. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling's office said that, in addition to prescribing opioids to patients who didn't need them, Kapoor and the executives "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."
Kapoor's defense implored the judge to look at his life as a whole—his acts of charity and the tragedies he lived through.
Kapoor's sentence is longer than any of the other seven executives who have been sentenced this week, including former Vice President Michael Gurry on January 13; former National Director of Sales Richard Simon and former Regional Sales Director Joseph Rowan on January 21; former Regional Sales Director Sunrise Lee and former CEO Michael Babich on January 22; and former Vice President Alec Burlakoff earlier Thursday.
WBZ NewsRadio's Madison Rogers (@_madisonrogers) reports