Opioid manufacturer in kickback scheme files for bankruptcy | AP business

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In a regulatory filing Monday, Insys Therapeutics said it has sought Chapter 11 protection to facilitate a sale of most of its assets and address its legacy obligations such as a recent multimillion-dollar settlement with the federal government.

Insys will continue its business operations while pursuing the sale of substantially all of the company's assets through a court-supervised bidding process, the company explained in a press release Monday.

INSYS was also charged in federal court in Boston with bribing doctors to encourage prescriptions of its fentanyl spray product. A month earlier, a federal jury in Boston found Insys founder John Kapoor and four other former executives and managers guilty of engaging in a vast racketeering conspiracy.

The US Department of Justice claims that between 2012 and 2015, the company started using "speaker programs" to raise brand awareness of Subsys through lunches and dinners. As the opioid epidemic heats up and gains more attention, more drug companies may succumb to bankruptcy in the near future, according to a report by NPR.

Both the criminal and civil investigations stemmed from the company's payment of kickbacks and other unlawful marketing practices in connection with the marketing of Subsys.

The effort to stop Insys' efforts was initiated by the war veteran Jeff Buchalter, who was prescribed the drug by his doctor when he faced spinal injuries after being hit with multiple IEDs and found the substance consuming his life, along with former Insys employee Patty Nixon and attorney Richard Hollawell.

Opioids were involved in a record 47,600 U.S. overdose deaths in 2017, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. Still, no pharmaceutical executive has been convicted on a criminal count.

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Subsys was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in 2012 to treat breakthrough cancer pain, which is described as sudden or unpredictable episodes of intense pain.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid considered 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

According to a government source, shares from the drugmaker will be removed from the NASDAQ on June 19th.

"The Company does not intend to appeal the determination and, therefore, it is expected that the Company's securities will be delisted", Insys officials wrote.

Insys now markets just one product, according to an August filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission: a sublingual fentanyl spray it calls Subsys.

The court documents also show founder John Kapoor retains a 63% stake in the company.

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