John Kapoor, the wealthy founder of drugmaker Insys Therapeutics plotted to bribe doctors across the country to prescribe a highly addictive fentanyl spray in order to outshine competitors and line his own pockets, a federal prosecutor told jurors Monday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lazarus said Kapoor was so determined to make Insys a success that he turned it into a "criminal enterprise" to get the powerful painkiller in the hands of more patients.
"This is not a complicated case. It's a case about greed — about greed and its consequences — and what happens when you put profits over people," Lazarus said as the closely-watched trial opened in Boston.
Kapoor is the highest-level pharmaceutical figure to face trial amid the opioid epidemic that's claiming thousands of lives every year. His lawyers say Insys is not responsible for the drug crisis, noting that its medication makes up a small fraction of the prescription opioid market.
The 75-year-old and four other former employees of the company are accused of paying doctors millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in order to boost sales for Subsys, which is meant for cancer patients with severe pain.