Former Insys CEO to plead guilty in opioid kickback case

The former chief executive of Insys Therapeutics is reportedly expected to be in a Boston courtroom on Wednesday to plead guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud charges.

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Michael Babich, who resigned as the Arizona-based drugmaker's CEO in 2015, will plead guilty to charges related to participating in a scheme to pay doctors bribes in exchange for prescribing an addictive opioid medication, according to Reuters.

His plea comes weeks before five former Insys executives and managers, including John Kapoor, the company’s founder and former chairman, are scheduled to face trial over what prosecutors said was their roles in the wide-ranging scheme.

It is unclear if in his plea deal, Babich has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify at that trial.

Kapoor and his co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

Insys settled a related U.S. Justice Department probe for at least $150 million in August.

The company is now under new management.

Babich's attorney declined to comment.

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The case centers on Subsys, Insys' under-the-tongue spray for managing severe pain in cancer patients. It contains fentanyl, an opioid 100 times stronger than morphine.

Babich's expected plea comes after Alec Burlakoff, Insys' former vice president of sales, pleaded guilty in November and agreed to testify as a government witness.