Opioid Crisis: Indian-American Pharma CEO Jailed

Dr. John Nath Kapoor, Indian-American CEO of Insys Therapeutics, has been found guilty of conspiring to recklessly and illegally boost profits from the opioid painkiller Subsys, a fentanyl spray designed to be absorbed under the tongue, according to multiple media reports.

Dr. John Nath Kapoor

In 2018, data showed that opioid overdoses killed an average of 128 Americans everyday.  Last year, nearly 70,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses.  Opioid abuse has become a public health crisis with devastating social, economic and health consequences in vast swathes of America.  In spite of knowing the dangers opioids posed, drug companies like Kapoor's Insys heavily promoted such drugs by paying physicians to overprescribe, resulting in enormous company profits.

Kapoor has received five and a half years jail sentence.  CBS has reported that others working for him have been sentenced to serve from 12 to 33 months, in part because of the testimony of the government's star witness: Alec Burlakoff, the senior vice president of sales at Insys, who had pled guilty and cooperated with prosecutors.

Kapoor, billionaire entrepreneur and former CEO of Insys Therapeutics, was born in Amritsar, India. He studied pharmacy at Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India. He received a doctorate in medicinal chemistry from University of Buffalo, New York, in 1972. He became a major American success story until he was arrested and charged in 2017 under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) laws.

Earlier in June, 2020, three Indian-American physicians were found to have faked results of a hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) study they published in New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. Both journals were forced to retract it.

Last year, an Indian-American operator and several Indian-American and other doctors participating in a home health care business in Silicon Valley were charged by US federal prosecutors with fraud.

India and Pakistan are among the top three sources of foreign medical professionals in the United States.

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