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How the Worst Launch in Pharma History Spurred Opioid Surge

  (By our staff reporter)-Former Insys Therapeutics CEO Michael Babich said the founder of the company was so determined to get back the millions he spent launching the company that he led Insys on a disastrous path of pushing its addictive opioid drug on patients who didn’t need them.Insys Therapeutics Inc. founder John Kapoor was so determined to get back the millions he spent launching the company that he led Insys on a disastrous path of pushing its addictive opioid drug on patients who didn’t need them, according to his former CEO, Michael Babich.
The way Kapoor ignored his subordinates, “you really don’t want to push back because once he makes up his mind, the decision is done,” Babich told a Boston jury at Kapoor’s racketeering trial on Tuesday. His demands contributed to a shift in marketing strategy after the company’s fumbled launch of its Subsys painkiller in March 2012, Babich said.Kapoor ripped into his underlings, calling it the “worst [expletive] launch in pharmaceutical history he’d ever seen,” according to Babich, who worked with his boss for 14 years. Kapoor sought to fix it by setting up a bonus system for sales representatives that encouraged them to woo physicians to overprescribe the drug, Babich told jurors.The system was based on an “eat-what-you-kill philosophy,’’ Babich testified. “When you sell a lot, you make a lot.’’Insys Therapeutics Inc. founder John Kapoor was so determined to get back the millions he spent launching the company that he led Insys on a disastrous path of pushing its addictive opioid drug on patients who didn’t need them, according to his former CEO, Michael Babich.
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