Former Insys CEO pleads guilty to opioid kickback scheme

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      The former chief executive of Insys Therapeutics Inc pleaded guilty on Wednesday to engaging in a scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid medication and has agreed to become a government witness.

      Michael Babich, who resigned as the Arizona-based drugmaker’s CEO in 2015, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court to conspiracy and mail fraud charges after entering into a cooperation deal with prosecutors.

      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.

      Babich, 42, faces up to 25 years in prison. But the Arizona resident could receive a more lenient sentence by testifying at Kapoor’s Jan. 28 trial.

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