A Boston jury found John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics, and four other employees guilty of conspiring to bribe doctors to prescribe addictive painkillers

The prosecution of drug company executives is good news but doctors should not be forced to cut back pain and anxiety medications out of fear of prosecution

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A Boston jury found John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics, and four other employees guilty of conspiring to bribe doctors to prescribe addictive painkillers, often to patients who didn’t need them. Kapoor and his co-defendants – Michael Gurry, Richard Simon, Sunrise Lee, and Joseph Rowan – face up to 20 years in prison.

Sunrise Lee

One of the defendants, Sunrise Lee, who prosecutors described as a former exotic dancer, was hired as a “closer” in the scheme. One of her “closing” techniques apparently consisted of giving a lap dance to a doctor the company was pressuring to get his patients to use the drugs. The company also used a rap video to promote and market the sale of powerful pain killers.

The defendants are likely to appeal their convictions.

OUR FREE OPINION

Main-stream Americans widely applaud the prosecution of drug companies—after all, the companies are greedy and mostly profit motivated. Indeed, We have often written about “the gouging practices of drug companies, particularly when individual patients need the medicine to either live at all, or maintain a relatively pain-managed existence. The motive, of course, is pure profit.”

At the same time, we have noted that some patients with chronic pain say they “are becoming collateral damage” in the sense that threats of prosecution of doctors cause them to under-prescribe pain and anxiety medications at a time when “anxiety attacks among all ages are skyrocketing across the country.”

DOCTORS ARE WRONGFULLY CUTTING BACK ON ANXIETY MEDS

Countless numbers of “people are substituting street drugs for prescriptions to ease their anxiety because doctors are frightened over the chance of prosecution or disciplinary complaints. The result is increased street drug use and untreated mental health issues. Moreover, many physicians and health care providers do not understand the severity of anxiety—you can’t know it until you have experienced it.

These dual problems and others cannot be fixed by prosecuting doctors who are operating under outdated and useless drug models that give the illusion of helpfulness. Moreover, these professionals need more training on how to handle patients who are addicted and suffering from anxiety.”

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