UB donor and alum arrested in opioid marketing conspiracy

Posted at 4:00 PM, Oct 26, 2017

U.S. authorities say the founder of an Arizona-based pharmaceutical company has been arrested and charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe a powerful opioid pain medication.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Massachusetts said Wednesday that John Kapoor of Insys Therapeutics Inc. and former executives and managers are charged with racketeering and other crimes in a new indictment.

Amid a national opioid addiction crisis, Kapoor of Phoenix and the other defendants are accused of offering kickbacks to doctors to write large numbers of prescriptions for a fentanyl-based pain medication that's meant for cancer patients. Most of those who received the prescriptions weren't cancer patients.

Kapoor is to appear Thursday in federal court in Phoenix. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.

The indictment adds new allegations to an ongoing case. The former executives and managers have pleaded not guilty.

UB released this statement today in response to alum Dr. John Kapoor's arrest:

The university is aware of Dr. Kapoor’s arrest.

We became aware of the charges through today’s media reports and therefore it would be premature to comment further or take any action until the university has more information. 

The building that is home to UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences bears the name of Dr. Kapoor and his wife in recognition of their long-time philanthropic support of the school and the university.