Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, January 24, 2020

White collar crime

John Kapoor, CEO of Insys Therapeutics, was sentenced yesterday to 5 1/2 years in prison. That's a pretty stiff sentence, right?

Well let's see now. What did he do exactly?

His company sold fentanyl under the brand name Subsys. As you probably know, fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid that is responsible for a high percentage of the overdose deaths in the current epidemic of opioid addiction. As a prescription drug, it was approved by the FDA only for so-called breakthrough pain in cancer patients. But Insys literally bribed doctors to prescribe it inappropriately, resulting in 8,000 known deaths and countless more ruined lives.

I ask you to consider the comparable case of an organized crime leader who distributed the precise same substance to street dealers, with similar consequences. What sentence do you think he would receive? Is there anything wrong with this picture?

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