The Latest: Analyst sees profit motive in opioid case
Oct. 28, 2017
PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on the arrest of a drug company founder on conspiracy charges related to a prescription opioid cancer drug (all times local):
Health care analyst Steve Brozak says this week's arrest of an Arizona drug company founder in a fraud and racketeering case is the latest example of how profits have become more important than health for many U.S. pharmaceutical firms.
Brozak says the aggressive marketing that federal prosecutors described at Insys Therapeutics of Chandler, Arizona has become acceptable — a trend he does not welcome.
He is a New Jersey-based analyst with WWB Securities, a health care research firm that tracks companies in the sector.
Brozak said Friday he believes that Insys founder John Kapoor was arrested only because the drug involved in the marketing effort was an opioid, in this case a mouth spray that delivers the highly addictive fentanyl to end-stage cancer patients.
The drug company founder charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and pharmacists to widely prescribe an opioid cancer drug for people who didn't need it came to the U.S. for postgraduate studies and for a time was listed among Arizona's richest billionaires.
Forbes several years ago listed John N. Kapoor, the founder of Insys Therapeutics, as having a worth of $2.4 billion. That worth has fallen amid indictments of numerous fellow Insys executives. But Forbes still listed Kapoor's worth at $1.75 billion on Thursday as he went to U.S. federal court in the fraud and racketeering case.
Kapoor and some of his colleagues were charged with pushing prescriptions for the addictive drug the same day President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency.