Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Drug Company Used Rap Video to Push for Higher Doses, Sales
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
February 15, 2019

Share

BOSTON  — Employees at a drug company accused of bribing doctors rapped and danced around a person dressed as a bottle of the highly addictive fentanyl spray in a video meant to motivate sales reps to push the drug.

They’re charged with scheming to pay doctors bribes and kickbacks in exchange for prescriptions of the opioid meant for cancer patients with severe pain. Kapoor and the other former executives of the Chandler, Arizona-based company have denied all wrongdoing.
The video was shown to jurors this week in the closely watched trial in Boston of wealthy Insys Therapeutics Inc. Founder John Kapoor and four other onetime executives, including a former exotic dancer who prosecutors say was hired as a regional sales manager even though she had no pharmaceutical experience.
They’re charged with scheming to pay doctors bribes and kickbacks in exchange for prescriptions of the opioid meant for cancer patients with severe pain. Kapoor and the other former executives of the Chandler, Arizona-based company have denied all wrongdoing.
The video, titled “Great by Choice,” was shown during a national sales meeting in 2015 to encourage employees to talk doctors into prescribing higher doses, prosecutors said.
In it, suit-clad sales reps rap to the tune of a song by the artist A$AP Rocky about titration, the process of increasing the strength of a patient’s prescription until it reaches the adequate level.
“I love titration, yeah, that’s not a problem. I got new patients and I got a lot of ’em,” they say. “Build relationships that are healthy. Got more docs than Janelle’s got selfies.”
At one point, the person dressed up as the bottle of fentanyl spray takes off his costume to reveal then-vice president of sales, Alec Burlakoff. Burlakoff pleaded guilty in November to racketeering conspiracy and is expected to testify against Kapoor.

The Latest Eyebrow-Raising Piece of Evidence in the Trial

“What we built here can’t be debated. Shout to Kapoor for what he created,” the sales reps rap. “The competition just making noise. We’re making history because we’re great by choice.”
The video is the latest eyebrow-raising piece of evidence in the trial, which has put a spotlight on the federal government’s efforts to go after those it says are responsible for fueling the deadly opioid crisis. The trial, which began last month, is expected to last several more weeks.
Last month, a former employee told jurors that she watched her boss — regional sales manager Sunrise Lee — give a lap dance at a Chicago nightclub to a doctor Insys was pushing to write more prescriptions. Lee’s lawyer said the doctor was taking advantage of her.
Beth Wilkinson, an attorney for Kapoor, told jurors that any criminal activity by Insys was orchestrated by Burlakoff. She has sought to portray Burlakoff and the government’s other key witness, former CEO Michael Babich, as liars who are willing to say anything to take down Kapoor in the hopes of getting a lesser sentence.
Babich, who pleaded guilty in January, took the stand this week and said Kapoor pushed to get patients on higher doses so they would continue taking the drug, which meant more money for the company.
Babich told jurors that Insys looked for sales reps who were “poor, hungry and driven” or what they called “PHDs.” Insys also recruited employees who were “easy on the eyes,” Babich told jurors.
“No physician wanted a quote unquote unattractive person to walk in their door,” he said.

DON'T MISS

Trump’s Allies Say They’ll Enforce the Comstock Act. Believe Them.

DON'T MISS

Small Dog With a Big Personality: Lester ‘Les’ Schwab Needs a Forever Home

DON'T MISS

A DA Kept Black Women Off a Jury. California’s Supreme Court Says That Wasn’t Racial Bias

DON'T MISS

Seriously Strange: Real Hobbies You Didn’t Know About

DON'T MISS

The Museum Yoga Trend Where Fine Art Meets Downward Dog

DON'T MISS

Obesity Drug Used in Mounjaro and Zepbound May Help Treat Dangerous Sleep Apnea

DON'T MISS

At Least 6 Heat-Related Deaths Reported in Metro Phoenix So Far This Year as High Hits 115 Degrees

DON'T MISS

Coffee Research Center at UC Davis Poised to Deliver a Jolt

DON'T MISS

Workers Sue Disney Claiming They Were Fraudulently Induced to Move to Florida from California

DON'T MISS

Fresno Suspect Arrested in Armed Home Invasion, Earlier Burglary

UP NEXT

Still Need Your Landline? California Just Stopped AT&T from Pulling the Plug

UP NEXT

Newly Named Washington Post Editor Decides Not to Take Job After Backlash, Will Stay in Britain

UP NEXT

FDA OKs First Menthol E-Cigarettes, Citing Potential to Help Adult Smokers

UP NEXT

FBI Raids Several California Homes, Including Oakland Mayor’s

UP NEXT

Donald Sutherland, Iconic Actor of ‘M.A.S.H.’ and ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies at 88

UP NEXT

The Supreme Court Upholds a Tax on Foreign Income Over a Challenge Backed by Business Interests

UP NEXT

Mike Pence’s Foundation Launches a $10 Million Election-Year Campaign to Preserve Trump-Era Tax Cuts

UP NEXT

Biden Overtakes Trump in Fox News Poll Following Trump’s Conviction

UP NEXT

‘We Just Always Expect It to Work’: 911 Outage Shows System’s Perils

UP NEXT

Climate Protesters Arrested Over Spraying Orange Paint Over Stonehenge Monument

Seriously Strange: Real Hobbies You Didn’t Know About

2 days ago

The Museum Yoga Trend Where Fine Art Meets Downward Dog

2 days ago

Obesity Drug Used in Mounjaro and Zepbound May Help Treat Dangerous Sleep Apnea

2 days ago

At Least 6 Heat-Related Deaths Reported in Metro Phoenix So Far This Year as High Hits 115 Degrees

2 days ago

Coffee Research Center at UC Davis Poised to Deliver a Jolt

2 days ago

Workers Sue Disney Claiming They Were Fraudulently Induced to Move to Florida from California

2 days ago

Fresno Suspect Arrested in Armed Home Invasion, Earlier Burglary

2 days ago

A Half-Century of Roaring Passion: Cobras, Shelby Mustangs & The People Who Love Them

3 days ago

On a Night for Doubling up, Lilly King Also Takes Home an Engagement Ring

3 days ago

Paris Awaits for Sha’Carri, Lyles and Dozens More, but Olympic Spots Must Be Earned at Trials

3 days ago

Trump’s Allies Say They’ll Enforce the Comstock Act. Believe Them.

Opinion by Michelle Goldberg on June 21, 2024. Until the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, it was hard for feminists to get Amer...

20 hours ago

20 hours ago

Trump’s Allies Say They’ll Enforce the Comstock Act. Believe Them.

2 days ago

Small Dog With a Big Personality: Lester ‘Les’ Schwab Needs a Forever Home

2 days ago

A DA Kept Black Women Off a Jury. California’s Supreme Court Says That Wasn’t Racial Bias

2 days ago

Seriously Strange: Real Hobbies You Didn’t Know About

2 days ago

The Museum Yoga Trend Where Fine Art Meets Downward Dog

2 days ago

Obesity Drug Used in Mounjaro and Zepbound May Help Treat Dangerous Sleep Apnea

2 days ago

At Least 6 Heat-Related Deaths Reported in Metro Phoenix So Far This Year as High Hits 115 Degrees

2 days ago

Coffee Research Center at UC Davis Poised to Deliver a Jolt

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend