Insys Therapeutics

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Insys Therapeutics
Public
Traded asNASDAQINSY
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryPharmaceutical
Founded1990
FounderJohn Kapoor
Headquarters,
U.S.
Key people
Saeed Motahari
ProductsSubsys (fentanyl)
Syndros (THC)
RevenueIncrease $146.6 million (2017)
Number of employees
343
Websitehttp://www.insysrx.com/

Insys Therapeutics is an American specialty pharmaceutical company based in Chandler, Arizona.

Products[edit]

Insys' main product is Subsys, a sublingual spray of fentanyl. The drug fentanyl is a very fast acting and powerful opiate used to relieve peaks of pain in cancer patients.[1][2]

The company also markets Syndros, a synthetic THC, and is actively working toward approval on other cannabis derivatives.[3][2] Syndros is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat loss of appetite (anorexia) in people with AIDS who have lost weight, as well as nausea and vomiting caused by anti-cancer medicine (chemotherapy) in people whose nausea and vomiting have not improved with usual anti-nausea medicines. Syndros is the first and only FDA-approved (DEA schedule 1) liquid THC formulation, which allows for fast absorption, flexible dosing and a potential solution for patients who may prefer a liquid medication.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1990 by billionaire John Kapoor. Kapoor also served as CEO and president after former CEO Michael Babich was arrested. Kapoor retired from Insys in 2017 and was ultimately replaced by Saeed Motahari.[4]

In 2016, the company was ranked #52 on the Deloitte Fast 500 North America list.[5]

Legal issues[edit]

Seven former executives and managers employed by Insys were taken into custody by law enforcement on Thursday, December 13, 2016. U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz, alleges that several former employees of Insys Therapeutics, Inc. - including the once CEO and president of the company - conspired to bribe medical staff in several states to get them to prescribe a specific pain medication.[6] This was the topic of an NBC special feature report on Megyn Kelly's 'Sunday Night' on Sunday, June 4, 2017.[7]

In August 2017, Insys Theraputics was sued by Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, for misleading patients and doctors about the dangers of the drug Subsys, and for lying to insurers about the condition of the patients in a bid to get payment for the drug. He said the firm deceived insurers and pharmaceutical benefit companies into agreeing to pay for the expensive drug by misleading them to believe that the payment request was coming from a doctor's office and not the company making the drug. Brnovich also said those Insys employees misrepresented the medical conditions of the patients, lying that they had breakthrough pain, lying that the patients had tried other medications, and lying that the patients needed the sublingual spray rather than less expensive pills marketed by other firms because they had difficulty swallowing.[8] Insys Therapeutics issued a response to the Arizona filing on their website, stating, in part, that "[t]he allegations contained in the Arizona Attorney General’s complaint relate to former employees and physicians that are no longer associated with our Company or our speaker bureau."[9]

In October 2017, Insys founder John Kapoor was arrested in Arizona and charged with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wirefraud, and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law related to Insys' effort to secure prescriptions of Subsys. Kapoor is also alleged to have conspired to defraud health insurance providers.[10]

Political issues[edit]

In 2016, Insys donated $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a group opposing a marijuana legalization ballot initiative in the state of Arizona.[11] Investor filings confirm the company was concerned about the impact of legalization on sales for a cannabis-based drug it was developing.[12] The reason publicly given for opposing the measure was to "protect children".[12] However, medical marijuana advocates have criticized Insys' position as hypocritical and profit driven as the company has pursued synthetic cannabis derived products.[3]

In 2017, US Senator Claire McCaskill released a report and audio recording of an Insys representative allegedly falsely claiming to represent a doctor's office and lying about a patient's diagnosis in order to circumvent prescribing rules for Subsys.[4] The patient later died due to an adverse reaction to her medications.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Worstall, Tim (May 11, 2014). "The Short Case For Insys Therapeutics". Forbes. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Subsys".
  3. ^ a b Ingraham, Christopher (March 24, 2017). "A pharma company that spent $500,000 trying to keep pot illegal just got DEA approval for synthetic marijuana". Washington Post. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Mole, Beth (September 7, 2017). "Opioid maker caught on tape lying to push deadly drug on patient". Ars Technica. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "2016 Winners by rank" (PDF). Deloitte. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  6. ^ Williams, Michelle. "Pharmaceutical executives accused of bribing doctors to 'unnecessarily prescribe' fentanyl".
  7. ^ Siemaszko, C. (June 4, 2017). "Dangerously Addictive Painkiller Prescribed for Patients Who Shouldn't Have Received It, Says Whistleblower". NBC News. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "Tucson doctor among 3 named in state's lawsuit against opioid firm". Arizona Daily Star. August 31, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  9. ^ "Insys Addresses Arizona Attorney General Complaint".
  10. ^ "Founder and Owner of Pharmaceutical Company Insys Arrested and Charged with Racketeering". www.justice.gov. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  11. ^ Nelson, Steven (September 8, 2016). "Fentanyl Maker Donates Big to Campaign Opposing Pot Legalization". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Fang, Lee (September 12, 2016). "Pharma Company Funding Anti-pot Fight Worried About Losing Business, Filings Show". The Intercept. Retrieved June 4, 2017.

External links[edit]