Arizona Opioid Maker Insys Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Published: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 12:27pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 12:22pm
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Opioid maker Insys Therapeutics filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, days after it struck a $225 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and pleaded guilty to fraud. 

The Chapter 11 filing marks a first for a drugmaker accused in lawsuits of helping fuel the deadly opioid epidemic. 

At issue was the company’s Subsys product, an under-the-tongue spray 100 times stronger than morphine, approved by the FDA to treat breakthrough cancer pain. Prosecutors argue that Insys bribed doctors to prescribe Subsys to patients, many of whom did not have cancer.

In May, five former Insys executives were convicted of racketeering charges, including founder and former billionaire John Kapoor.

Subsys' sales grew from $8.6 million to $329 million from 2012 to 2015, during Kapoor's tenure, according to reports filed. 

Insys principals claimed the Chapter 11 filing was necessary to shield it from the tens of thousands spent in legal fees stemming from the Justice Department's probe.

Shares of the company have plummeted over 90 percent since May.

To talk more about the Chandler-based company, The Show reached out to Katie Zezima, a national correspondent with the Washington Post.

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