UB alumnus arrested for alleged opioid scheme

Kapoor donated $10.8 million to UB; he was arrested Thursday on federal charges


John Kapoor, UB alumnus and donor, has been arrested by federal agents for his drug company’s involvement in an alleged opioid scheme. The home of UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was named for Kapoor after he donated over $10.8 million to the school.

Kapoor will answer to charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

Authorities allege Insys Therapeutics, Kapoor’s pharmaceutical company, marketed its mouth spray version of fentanyl, a powerful opiate, as part of a scheme to get non-cancer doctors to prescribe it.

Kapoor’s attorney, Brian Kelly, said his client is innocent, according to CBS News.

Kapoor is the most significant pharmaceutical executive to be arrested for contributing to the opioid epidemic.

The Spectrum reported on the charges surrounding Kapoor’s company in April after six other Insys executives were indicted on federal charges in December 2016. Members of the UB community questioned if the university should remove Kapoor’s name from building. UB spokesperson John Della Contrada said the university was aware of the charges involving employees formerly associated with Insys Therapeutics.

"We became aware of the charges through today’s media reports and therefore it would be premature to comment further or take any action until the university has more information," a university statement said. 

Della Contrada said in April the building bears the Kapoor name in recognition of the couple’s “long-time support” of the school.

Sarah Crowley is the senior news editor and can be reached at sarah.crowley@ubspectrum.com