Insys Therapeutics Inc. founder John Kapoor is accused of helping fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic by bribing doctors to prescribe a powerful form of fentanyl to patients who didn’t need the potent drug. Kapoor, 74, was arrested Thursday in Arizona and charged with racketeering conspiracy and other felonies. He’s scheduled to appear in a Phoenix court later in the day.
Kapoor and other former Insys executives are also accused of defrauding insurance companies that were reluctant to approve payments for the drug by improperly getting prior authorization directly from the insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, Acting U.S. Attorney William Weinreb in Boston said in a press release.
The Insys executives are accused of bribing doctors to prescribe Subsys, a fentanyl-based spray designed to combat cancer-sufferers’ pain, to people who didn’t have cancer. Kapoor is also the chairman and largest shareholder of Akorn Inc., which has been acquired by German health-care provider Fresenius SE for $4.3 billion in April.