A life-size fentanyl bottle, a rap video: New details emerge at Insys racketeering trial

Insys founder John Kapoor used a rap video parody featuring a life-size fentanyl spray bottle to motivate his sales team to get physicians to prescribe higher doses of the company's opioid pain reliever Subsys, according to The Boston Globe.  

Six things to know:

1. The new details emerged in the racketeering trial for Mr. Kapoor and four other former Insys Therapeutics executives in Boston. The executives are accused of funneling millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to physicians to prescribe Subsys. The opioid-based drug was approved to treat cancer-related pain; however, it was often prescribed for cases unrelated to cancer.

2. The five-minute rap video debuted in 2015 at an Insys sales staff meeting. It was played by prosecutors in court Feb. 13.

3. The video depicts two young Insys salesman wearing sunglasses and hoodies dancing next to a giant Subsys spray bottle. The purple-and-white Subsys bottle was labeled 1,600 micrograms, the maximum dosage of Subsys clinicians could prescribe.

4. The song, inspired by the rapper A$AP Rocky, featured the refrain: "I love titration, yeah that's not a problem. I got new patients, and I got a lot of 'em." Titration refers to adjusting the dosage of a drug.

5. The video ends with the rapper in the Subsys bottle removing his costume. The man in the costume was Alec Burlakoff, Insys' vice president of sales at the time the alleged racketeering scheme was at its peak.

6. The video is the latest jarring moment in the trial, going on its third week of testimonies. Earlier, a former sales representative testified that Sunrise Lee, a defendant who was a regional sales director and former stripper, gave an Illinois physician a lap dance to persuade him to prescribe more Subsys.

Read the full report here.

More articles on opioids:
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DOD signing up states for nationwide PDMP: 5 things to know

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