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Opioid Company Execs Found Guild on Racketeering Charges


Five top executives of the pharma giant Insys Therapeutics, maker of the synthetic opioid fentanyl Subsys, have been found guilty on federal racketeering charges. Court records claim the execs bribed doctors to prescribe Subsys to patients who did not need it.

Convictions Mark Major Milestone in Legal Fight Against Opioid Providers

According to CNN, a Massachusetts jury took 15 days to reach it’s verdict against the executives which included former billionaire John Kapoor, 76. Andrew Lelling, US attorney for the district of Massachusetts, called the convictions “the first successful prosecution of top pharmaceutical executives for crimes related to the illicit marketing and prescribing of opioids.”

During the trial, prosecutors brought attention to unsavory sales tactics including lap dances to lure doctors. Lelling compared the executives to “street-level drug dealers” and accused them of “fueling the opioid epidemic by recklessly and illegally distributing [opioids].”

In addition to Kapoor, convictions included Richard Simon, 48, former national director of sales, Sunrise Lee, 38, a former regional sales director, Joseph Rowan, 45, a former regional sales director, and Michael Gurry, 55, the former vice president of managed markets. All five face up to 20 years in prison.

Two other execs, former President and CEO Michael Babich and former vice president of sales Alec Burlakoff, pleading guilty prior to trial and provided testimony incriminating their former colleagues.

Opioid Addiction and Death Statistics

The following information was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • More than 700,000 people have died from drug overdoses since 1999 with opioids accounting for roughly 400,000 of those deaths.
  • Around 68% of the 70,200 overdose deaths recorded in 2017 involved and opioid.
  • The number of opioid-related overdose deaths has increased 6 fold since 1999.
  • Every day, an average of 130 Americans died from opioid overdose.

Contact an Experienced Dangerous Drug Attorney

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dangerous pharmaceutical drug or medical device, you may be entitled to compensation. You deserve dynamic representation from a law firm with the resources necessary to take on the pharmaceutical companies. Thomas J. Henry has a track record of helping clients receive record-breaking verdicts, settlements, and judgments.

Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

 

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