But Kapoor aimed to provide Subsys to as many people as possible, non-cancer patients included, a former Insys employee says.
It also alleges that they conspired to mislead and defraud insurance providers who were reluctant to approve payment for the drug when it was prescribed for patients without cancer. The new indictment, unsealed Thursday in Boston, adds Kapoor, the 74-year-old founder who stepped down as chief executive in January, to the list of those accused.
John Kapoor, UB alumnus and major donor, has been arrested by federal agents for his drug company's involvement in an alleged opioid scheme.
Kapoor and some of his colleagues were charged with pushing prescriptions for the addictive drug the same day President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency.
At the center of this matter lies Subsys, a powerful fetanyl-based, sub-lingual spray manufactured by Insys that was approved in 2012 by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) for use by adult cancer patients with breakthrough pain. But according to the DOJ, many patients receiving Subsys didn't have cancer.
Last month, a Senate investigation led by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), released an audio recording of an Insys representative lying to a pharmaceutical benefit manager in order to get an inappropriate Subsys prescription covered.
"In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions", acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said in a statement, "Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies exclusively for profit".
Today's arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles.
US prosecutors in Boston brought the case as they vowed to go after problem opioid makers similar to how they target 'cartels or a street-level drug dealer'. His lawyer, defense attorney Brian Kelly, told reporters Thursday that Kapoor "is not guilty of these charges, he intends to fight it vigorously".
The indictment against Kapoor follows the Wednesday news that a Rhode Island doctor had pleaded guilty to participating in a bribery scheme in exchange for prescribing an Insys opioid drug.
In April, The Spectrum reported on the charges surrounding Kapoor's company, after six other Insys executives were indicted on federal charges in December 2016.
An Insys spokesperson said the company is now under new management and has taken steps to avoid repeating past mistakes. "We also continue to work with relevant authorities to resolve issues related to the misdeeds of former employees".
The Nasdaq-listed stock was down nearly 20% intra-day after this news as of the time of this writing.