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opioid crisis

Insys founder John Kapoor, 4 others, convicted in opioid racketeering and bribery scheme

A federal jury in Boston convicted John Kapoor, the founder and former chairman of Insys Therapeutics, and four former colleagues on Thursday in connection with a scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe the highly addictive and potent opioid fentanyl, sold by Insys in spray form. Kapoor, 76, is now the highest-ranking pharmaceutical executive convicted in a case related to America's opioid crises. He and his four co-defendants — Michael Gurry, Richard Simon, Sunrise Lee, and Joseph Rowan, all former Insys managers and executives — each face up to 20 years in prison.

The five pharmaceutical executives were convicted of racketeering conspiracy; prosecutors said the scheme included not only bribing doctors also defrauding insurance companies, misleading them into paying for the expensive fentanyl spray, Subsys, approved only for terminal cancer patients. The co-defendants denied wrongdoing and will appeal, their lawyers said. Insys, which agreed to pay $150 million or more in a settlement with the Justice Department last summer, said Thursday that the scheme was limited to "the actions of a select few former employees."