An Indian-American billionaire founder of a pharmaceutical company was arrested today in the US for allegedly leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe a powerful opioid to patients who don't need it.
John Kapoor, 74, was taken into custody in Phoenix, Arizona. Kapoor is the founder and former CEO of the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics. He faces charges including racketeering, conspiracy and fraud, CBS News reported.
Kapoor, who was born in Amritsar, is the most significant pharmaceutical executive to be criminally charged in response to the nationwide opioid crisis.
Brian Kelly, an attorney for Kapoor, said his client "is innocent of these charges and intends to fight the charges vigorously."
Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January but still serves on its board. The company makes a spray version of fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid intended only for cancer patients.
Authorities allege Insys marketed the drug as part of a scheme to get non-cancer doctors to prescribe it. Numerous physicians were allegedly paid bribes by the company to push the painkilling drug.
Kapoor is due to appear in US District Court in Phoenix.
Last December, six other Insys executives were indicted on federal charges in Boston in connection with the alleged scheme to bribe doctors to unnecessarily prescribe the painkilling drug.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)