A little over two weeks into the racketeering trial of Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor, federal prosecutors last week revealed a rap video produced by the company used to motivate sales representatives to boost sales of its highly addictive opioid spray, reported Bloomberg.
The video, titled “Great by Choice,” was initially shown during a 2015 national sales conference encouraged reps to increase Subsys dosages to doctors through a process known as titration. In return, doctors across the country received millions of dollars in a kickback scheme.
“I love titration. Yeah it’s a not a problem,” rapped the cast in the video called, “Great by Choice.” “I got new patients and I got a lot of ‘em.”
“Build relationships that are healthy,” the song went on. “Got more docs than Janelle’s got selfies.”
At the end of the video, the person dressed up as the bottle of Subsys reveals himself as then-vice president of sales, Alec Burlakoff.
Burlakoff pleaded guilty last Fall to racketeering and could soon testify against Kapoor.
The video is the latest evidence in the trial, which has put a spotlight on the federal government’s efforts to crack down on the opioid crisis.
Last month, a former Insys employee told jurors that she witnessed her boss — regional sales manager Sunrise Lee — give an erotic lap dance at a Chicago club to a doctor that was planning to increase prescriptions of Subsys.
Beth Wilkinson, an attorney for Kapoor, told jurors that Burlakoff was solely responsible for the criminal activity. Wilkinson said Burlakoff and the government’s other key witness, former CEO Michael Babich, are liars who are trying to take down Kapoor in the hopes of getting a smaller sentence.
Babich pleaded guilty in January and told jurors last week that Kapoor pushed to get patients on higher doses to increase sales. Babich also said that Insys looked for sales reps who were “poor, hungry and driven.” Insys also recruited employees who were “easy on the eyes,” he added.
“No physician wanted a quote unquote unattractive person to walk in their door,” he said.
In 2016, Insys paid out more than $2 million to doctors in the kickback scheme.
Since the Food and Drug Administration approved Subsys in 2012 for cancer patients, there have been more than 900 related deaths.
Perhaps the real opioid crisis is not on the Mexico–United States border, but it is big pharma that is pumping legal opioids to the American people.