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Big Pharma CEO Accused of Paying Doctors to Prescribe Deadly Opioids

We all know that CEOs of Big Pharma companies aren't exactly paragons of virtue. But one executive has strayed straight into evil territory.

The U.S. government filed charges last week against the CEO of a pharmaceutical company for pushing dangerous opioids onto patients. John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics, and other executives from his company are accused of providing kickbacks to doctors who prescribed powerful opioids to their patients. Many of the doctors were paid for giving patients fentanyl-based medications, which is typically only given to people with cancer. Most of the patients who were given fentanyl did not have cancer.

Prosecutors on the case said they're treating opioid manufacturers the same way they would treat high-level drug dealers or cartel members.

“In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions, Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit,” said Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb. 

Insys has been under intense scrutiny for months. A congressional investigation found that the company gotten away with severe misbehavior that contributed to the nation's opioid crisis, and only received a slap on the wrists as punishment.

It should also be noted that Kapoor donated $500,000 to defeat a medical marijuana ballot initiative in Arizona last year. Considering this is how much money he was willing to give out in the open, you can only imagine what he and others in the pharmaceutical industry have been donating to politicians around the country to keep marijuana illegal.

(h/t The Cannabist)


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