Insys Files For Bankruptcy After Paying $225 Million Settlement In US Probe

Insys founder John N. Kapoor center leaves the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston

Last month, a federal jury in Boston found Insys executives guilty of starting and participating in a wide-spread racketeering conspiracy. Its main ingredient, fentanyl, is an opioid 100 times stronger than morphine.

The company would pay a $2m fine and $28m in forfeiture.

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Subsys to treat cancer patients.

An opioid drugmaker whose former executives were convicted last month in a scheme to illegally influence doctors to prescribe its drug and that reached a almost quarter of $1 billion settlement last week is filing for bankruptcy.

The company said throughout the court-supervised Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, it meant to utilise existing cash on hand and operating cash flows to support its continued operations, including payment of all employee wages and benefits without interruption and continuing programmes offered to customers. The spray is mainly used to alleviate pain in cancer patients.

According to court documents, Kapoor along with other Insys executives had conducted sham events to promote their products. They used this information to reduce or eliminate bribes paid to practitioners who failed to meet satisfactory prescribing requirements, which they determined to be the net revenue equal to at least twice the amount of bribes paid to the practitioner. Subsys sales shot up from $8.6 million in 2012 to $329 million in 2015. Through its various schemes and bribes, Insys was able to boost its Subsys sales significantly.

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The agency recently ramped up its probe into U.S. pharmaceutical company's following President Donald Trump's announcement that the opioid crisis in the United States has become a public health emergency.

Most US states have sued Purdue Pharma LP, the maker of OxyContin, and several have sued members of its controlling Sackler family. Many companies have been sued by states and Indian tribes.

According to the bankruptcy filing, Insys had $175.1 million in assets and about $262.5 million in debts as of March 31st, while shares of Insys fell more than 66 percent to $0.44 following the reveal of its bankruptcy filing.

Among the pieces of evidence presented during the 10-week trial: a five-minute video promoting the fentanyl spray Subsys, featuring an Insys company salesman rapping about prescribing higher drug doses using a process known as "titration".

With drug maker Insys Therapeutics (INSY) filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid corruption charges on Monday, it may not be the only pharmaceutical company that is considering the move.

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