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In closing argument, prosecution says bribes, brazen quest for profit fueled Insys painkiller sales

Five former Insys Therapeutics executives paid unscrupulous physicians millions of dollars in bribes to prescribe a powerful opioid painkiller to patients who shouldn’t have gotten it — and sometimes got addicted — in a scheme of “brazen audacity,” a government lawyer told jurors Thursday.

In a closing argument at the landmark trial in federal court in Boston, Assistant US Attorney K. Nathaniel Yeager said Insys’s founder, John N. Kapoor, and four other executives paid off physicians to prescribe Subsys in order to drive up profits for the Arizona drug company and enrich themselves.

The under-the-tongue fentanyl spray was approved specifically for severe cancer pain, Yeager said, but eight practitioners who took more than $1.1 million in bribes sometimes prescribed it for neck injuries, neurological conditions, and other forms of pain.  READ MORE >>