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John Nath Kapoor

Amritsar Born NRI Kapoor Founder of Drug Company, found guilty of bribing doctors
John Kapoor and other top executives committed fraud, placing profit before patient safety
Now face up to 20 years in prison

  • 400,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription or illicit opioids over the past two decades.
  • Opiate overdose claimed the lives of about 48,000 people in 2017 alone.

Los Angeles, May 3, 2019, A.Gary Singh

NRI John Nath Kapoor, 76,  Opioid company executives,  onetime billionaire and founder of Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics, was found guilty of criminal conspiracy by a jury in Boston.
Kapoor was convicted along with four other former executives of the company on charges that they acted more like mobsters than pharmaceutical executives when they sold a brand of fentanyl, a powerful and addictive opioid.

John N. Kapoor, 74, of Phoenix, Arizona, the founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc., was arrested today and charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to profit by using bribes and fraud to cause the illegal distribution of a Fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients experiencing breakthrough pain. 

The medication, called “Subsys,” is a powerful narcotic intended to treat cancer patients suffering intense breakthrough pain.  In exchange for bribes and kickbacks, the practitioners wrote large numbers of prescriptions for the patients, most of whom were not diagnosed with cancer.

The painkiller Subsys was approved for sale in 2012

Insys is a specialty pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets two main drugs - subsys and syndros. Subsys delivers fentanyl, an opioid analgesic offered in mcg doses ranging from 100 to 1,600. Fentanyl is offered for the treatment of breakthrough pain caused by cancer ("BTCP") in opioid-tolerant patients.

Syndros oral solution is approved for the second-line treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting ("CINV") and anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS.

  • October 26, 2017, Kapoor was arrested in Arizona and charged with RICO conspiracy, as well as other felonies, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law
  • The superseding indictment charges that Kapoor; Michael L. Babich, 40, of Scottsdale, Ariz., former CEO and President of the company; Alec Burlakoff, 42, of Charlotte, N.C., former Vice President of Sales; Richard M. Simon, 46, of Seal Beach, Calif., former National Director of Sales; former Regional Sales Directors Sunrise Lee, 36, of Bryant City, Mich., and Joseph A. Rowan, 43, of Panama City, Fla.; and former Vice President of Managed Markets, Michael J. Gurry, 53, of Scottsdale, Ariz., conspired to bribe practitioners in various states, many of whom operated pain clinics, in order to get them to prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication. 
  • Kapoor and the six former executives conspired to mislead and defraud health insurance providers who were reluctant to approve payment for the drug when it was prescribed for non-cancer patients.  They achieved this goal by setting up the “reimbursement unit,” which was dedicated to obtaining prior authorization directly from insurers and pharmacy benefit managers. 

Former Insys sales representative Holly Brown told jurors the incident with her boss, Sunrise Lee, took place after Insys began rewarding the doctor for prescribing its opioid product by paying him to speak at educational events about the drug.

That Illinois doctor, Paul Madison, is one of several whom prosecutors say Lee and four other former Insys executives and managers including wealthy founder and ex-chairman John Kapoor conspired to bribe to boost sales of the spray, Subsys.

With the drug’s sales soaring, Insys , generate annual sales at one point of more than $300 million.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb said:

  • “In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions, Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit
  • Today's arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable - just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer.

Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston  said:

  • As alleged, these executives created a corporate culture at Insys that utilized deception and bribery as an acceptable business practice, deceiving patients, and conspiring with doctors and insurers
  • The allegations of selling a highly addictive opioid cancer pain drug to patients who did not have cancer, make them no better than street-level drug dealers. Today's charges mark an important step in holding pharmaceutical executives responsible for their part in the opioid crisis.   The FBI will vigorously investigate corrupt organizations with business practices that promote fraud with a total disregard for patient safety.”

Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said:

  • These Insys executives allegedly fueled the opioid epidemic by paying doctors to needlessly prescribe an extremely dangerous and addictive form of fentanyl
  • Corporate executives intent on illegally driving up profits need to be aware they are now squarely in the sights of law enforcement.

Mark A. McCormack, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office said:

  • As alleged, Insys executives improperly influenced health care providers to prescribe a powerful opioid for patients who did not need it, and without complying with FDA requirements, thus putting patients at risk and contributing to the current opioid crisis
  • Our office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue and bring to justice those who threaten the public health.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Ferguson said:

  • Pharmaceutical companies whose products include controlled medications that can lead to addiction and overdose have a special obligation to operate in a trustworthy, transparent manner, because their customers’ health and safety and, indeed, very lives depend on it
  • DEA pledges to work with our law enforcement and regulatory partners nationwide to ensure that rules and regulations under the Controlled Substances Act are followed.”

Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said:

  • The United States Postal Inspection Service is fully committed to protecting our nation’s mail system from criminal misuse
  • We are proud to work alongside our law enforcement partners to dismantle high level prescription drug practices which directly contribute to the opioid abuse epidemic.  This investigation highlights our commitment to defending our mail system from illegal misuse and ensuring public trust in the mail

The investigation was conducted by a team that included the FBI; HHS-OIG; FDA Office of Criminal Investigations; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; the Office of Personnel Management; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General; and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge the cooperation and assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country engaged in parallel investigations, including the District of Connecticut, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern District of Alabama, Southern District of New York, District of Rhode Island, and the District of New Hampshire. .

Former Insys rep: ‘Sexually suggestive’ boss gave client lap dance

She was sitting on his lap, kind of bouncing around, and he had his hands all over her, kind of inappropriately,” Holly Brown said of Sunrise Lee, an ex-stripper and her former sales manager at Insys, the progressive pharmaceutical company founded by billionaire John Kapoor.

...A sales representative pitching a potentially deadly fentanyl pain reliever to reluctant physicians testified Tuesday that Insys Therapeutics sales efforts included the time she said her “sexually suggestive” boss treated a doctor to a lap dance. ...........READ

The case features several explosive allegations:

  • Prosecutors say that Insys set up a sham “speakers program” to funnel cash to doctors, adjusted payments based on how many prescriptions doctors wrote, misrepresented patients’ medical histories to dupe insurers into covering  Subsys for people without cancer, and even hired a woman who was a former stripper and escort service manager as a key sales executive.
  • Former Insys employees, in federal whistle-blower lawsuits filed around the country, have described a macho, high-pressure sales operation in which deception was encouraged.
  • One former executive allegedly told sales representatives that “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the 2013 film about a corrupt stock broker, was “the best sales training video in history,” according to one suit

Federal authorities last month for the first time filed felony drug trafficking charges against a major pharmaceutical distributor, Rochester Drug Cooperative, and two former executives, accusing them of shipping tens of millions of oxycodone pills and fentanyl products to pharmacies that were distributing drugs illegally.


In  2016, John N. Kapoor has been recognized by Forbes Magazine and is  one of the 5 NRIs in the Forbes 400 richest people.Kapoor, who ranks 335 on the list with a net worth of $2.1 billion

  • He is the chairman of two drug companies - Akorn, which specializes in "difficult-to-manufacture" prescription drugs and Insys Therapeutics, which produces an opioid for cancer patients, Forbes added


NRI Dr. J Kapoor donated more than $10.8 million to University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York, June 11, 2008
Surinder Mehta

NRI John P. Kapoor, Ph.D. '72, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur has made a $5 million investment in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences through the John and Editha Kapoor Charitable Foundation. With this gift and prior gifts that together total more than $10.8 million, Kapoor becomes the most generous individual donor ever to UB. In light of this generosity, the university will name the pharmacy building John Kapoor Hall in his honor.

The gift, issued as a challenge to encourage others to follow his exemplary lead, will support construction of a new home for the nationally ranked pharmacy school, as well as faculty research, student financial aid and an emerging technologies fund.

Mr. Kapoor from Amritsar, an alumnus of the University at Buffalo considered a visionary leader in the pharmaceutical industry received a fellowship that helped him to earn a doctoral degree and begin his highly successful career in 1960.

Kapoor said, "I owe so much to this university. Fortunately, I am in a position to help, and the university is on the top of my list."

He began his corporate career on Grand Island, New York as general manager for Lyphomed, a unit of Stone Container Corp. He was named president of the division in 1980, and in 1981 he bought it for $2.7 million. He took the company's sales from $4 million to $172 million, before eventually selling it. With the profits, he formed EJ Financial Enterprises Inc, which invests in healthcare startups.

Since 1986, the Kapoor Charitable Foundation has funded research, a state-of-the-art instrumentation core and graduate fellowships at UB. More recent contributions provided support for five Kapoor Fellows in the pharmacy school, three of whom have graduated and begun their careers and two who are current pharmacy school students. The foundation's support also was critical to the school's successful completion of a Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant for $500,000 to pay for additional equipment.

"It is my privilege to help UB continue at the leading edge of innovation in pharmaceutical sciences education," Kapoor said. "The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has played a significant role in shaping my career and it is my honor to be part of its future."

The UB pharmacy school is preparing for its eventual move to the South Campus, where it will join the university's four other health science schools -- dental medicine, medicine, nursing and public health -- that comprise the UB Academic Health Center. The pharmacy school's new home will be funded by a true private-public partnership, with the State of New York providing $46 million for construction and the remainder coming from the university and private investments. It will be the first UB professional school to relocate back to the City of Buffalo since the construction of the North Campus in Amherst in the 1970s.

"His gifts have transformed the school," Anderson said. "His generosity has allowed us to leverage core support for research programs and has enabled us to provide seed grants for young faculty, who, in turn, have achieved a very significant level of success in research activities. His new gift will help vault the school into the future with an improved, high-tech facility where we continue the important work of educating generations of pharmacy professionals."

Slated for completion in 2011, the pharmacy school building will be a vital resource for advancing patient care, attracting students and faculty, and providing a contemporary learning environment. It will include a state-of-the-art Pharmaceutical Care Teaching and Learning Center, which will support a comprehensive interprofessional curriculum focused on continuity of care, medication therapy management, collaborative drug-therapy management and patient education. Other features will include laboratories dedicated to pharmacy informatics and information systems, audio and video conferencing for real-time interaction with remote locations, live Web casts and recording capabilities, and interactive audience response systems.

"Without this support it would have been impossible for me to come to the United States to pursue higher education. I received tremendous support and encouragement from the faculty at the school as I tried to adjust to a different system of education. I also learned a great deal about this country at the university," Kapoor said in an interview in 2002.

Throughout his career, Kapoor has demonstrated keen marketing insight. As president and CEO of LyphoMed, he rejuvenated the hospital products company into a more than $100-million-a-year business, which he then sold to Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals. He went on to serve in leadership positions at several U.S. pharmaceutical companies over the next 30 years, including Option Care, Inc., a provider of home health-care services; Akorn, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of generic ophthalmic products; and Introgen Therapeutics, Inc., a gene therapy company.

Kapoor, with his late wife, Editha, a native of Grand Island, N.Y., established the John and Editha Kapoor Charitable Foundation to support children and youth services, Christian organizations, health organizations, higher education, hospitals and charitable causes in India. The many honors he has received include the UB Distinguished Alumni Award, a State University of New York honorary degree, the San Diego Indian American Society Chakra Award and the American Cancer Society International Achievement Award for Philanthropy.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.


John Nath Kapoor

NRI John Nath Kapoor is an Indian American billionaire pharmaceutical entrepreneur and convicted felon. He is the founder of Insys Therapeutics. In 2017, Kapoor was arrested and charged with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and other South Campus home of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is to be named after alumnus John N. Kapoor

  • Born in Amristar, India, Kapoor earned an undergraduate degree in pharmacy from Bombay University, and sought to attend graduate school in the United States. UB offered him a graduate fellowship, allowing him to pursue a doctorate in medicinal chemistry.
  • Kapoor remembered that without the university's support "it would have been impossible for me to come to the US to pursue higher education. I received tremendous support and encouragement from the faculty at the school as I tried to adjust to a different system of education. I also learned a great deal about this country at the university."

Insys Therapeutics is an American specialty pharmaceutical company based in Chandler, Arizona. Its main product is Subsys, a sublingual spray of fentanyl. The drug fentanyl is a very fast acting and powerful opioid used to relieve peaks of pain in cancer patients