One defendant in the highly publicized Insys prosecution has agreed to switch sides and become a cooperator. Former Vice President of Sales at Insys, Alec Burlakoff, has agreed to plead guilty to a racketeering conspiracy. He faces a maximum 20 year sentence. Burlakoff admits that he aggressively pushed a scheme of paying doctors to speak at events in exchange for writing prescriptions for Subsys.
The Government alleges that Insys executives conspired to bribe doctors to prescribe Subsys in order to boost sales. Subsys is an opioid that is FDA approved for cancer patients in severe pain. The government alleges that Subsys was being overprescribed to a wide range of non-cancer patients.
Burlakoff is expected to be a key government witness in the trial starting January. Burlakoff is expected to say that the six remaining defendants aggressively pursued doctors to prescribe Subsys.
Burlakoff had a key role in the scheme. The emails substantiate that Burlakoff was telling his sales team to urge doctors to prescribe Subsys for off label use not just cancer patients.
Emails also reveal that Burlakoff telling his sales team to expect a bump in sales after he paid a visit to a doctor with a large practice. The evidence further revealed the doctor was paid to speak at two Insys events the month following the visit.
Because all defendants were so close to trial and likely operating in a joint defense, it will be interesting to see whether any defendant objects to the scope of Burlakoff’s testimony based on a privilege arising from the joint defense.