Former Insys CEO to plead not guilty in opioid scheme indictment

John Kapoor, the billionaire founder and former CEO of Insys Pharmaceuticals, is expected to enter a not guilty plea Thursday over allegations he participated in a company scheme to bribe physicians to prescribe Insys' fentanyl-based painkiller Subsys, according to a report from Reuters.

Police arrested Mr. Kapoor for racketeering, conspiracy and fraud Oct. 26 in Phoenix. The indictment said Mr. Kapoor and other Insys executives developed a scheme to pay speaker fees and other bribes to medical practitioners to encourage the prescription of Subsys, which is meant to treat breakthrough cancer pain. The scheme also allegedly involved deceiving insurers to approve payment for off-label use of the medication.

Brian Kelly, an attorney for the former CEO, on Monday said Mr. Kapoor would plead not guilty to the charges. In papers filed ahead of Thursday's hearing, Mr. Kapoor's attorneys described the charges against their client as "thin, vague and conclusory," according to Reuters

In December 2016, six Insys executives were arrested for their alleged role in the scheme. Mr. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of the company in January, but remained on the company's board.

Three days after his arrest, Mr. Kapoor resigned from Insys' board. He remains the drugmaker's majority shareholder. In October, Insys estimated it would cost $150 million to settle the U.S. Department of Justice probe, according to the report.

More articles on opioids: 
40+ state AGs call for repeal of law stifling DEA's oversight of opioid distributors 
Indianapolis files opioid epidemic lawsuit against drugmakers, drug distributors 
AHIMA: 7 aspects to high-quality opioid addiction documentation in patient charts

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