New York: A 76-year-old Indian-origin head of a US pharmaceutical major has become the first top executive of a drugmaker to be convicted of bribing doctors in the US to prescribe addictive painkillers, fuelling a national opioid crisis that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people over two decades.
John Nath Kapoor, the founder of Insys Therap-eutics pharmaceutical company based in Arizona’s Chandler city, was found guilty of criminal conspiracy by a jury in Boston, Washington-based National Public Radio reported.
Kapoor, a onetime billionaire, was convicted along with four other former executives of the company. They face up to 20 years in prison.
Kapoor and his co-defendants were accused by the federal government of running a nationwide bribery scheme.
Kapoor founded Insys Therapeutics in 1990. Between 2012 and 2015, Insys allegedly paid doctors to prescribe its potent opioid medication and then lied to insurance companies to ensure that the expensive fentanyl-based painkiller would be covered, the report said.
The prosecutors claimed that doctors, who were bribed, often prescribed Subsys — approved in 2012 by the US Food and Drug Administration only for use in treating severe cancer — to patients even without cancer. This practice increased the sales for Kapoor’s firm.
Kapoor is among the highest-ranking pharmaceutical executives to face trial amidst a national opioid epidemic....