During the recent election season, the anti-Prop 205 campaign in Arizona accepted donations from the Arizona-based drug company Insys Therapeutics, makers of fentanyl, the most potent, addictive and deadly opioid-based drug in the world. Massachusetts authorities just arrested executives from Insys Therapeutics for racketeering, and on allegations for bribery and kickbacks to doctors.
The kickbacks were for enticing doctors to prescribe fentanyl to patients, according to AZ Central. In connection with this, two Scottsdale, Arizona residents were arrested: Michael L. Babich, former CEO and President of Insys Therapeutics and Michael J. Gurry, a former VP.
Insys donated $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. Yavapai County attorney Sheila Polk and Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery were the most publicly visible persons working to prevent Prop 205 from passing. Governor Doug Ducey and other politicians joined the efforts as well.
Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts, said, “Patient safety is paramount, and prescriptions for these highly addictive drugs, especially fentanyl, which is among the most potent and addictive opioids, should be prescribed without influence of corporate money. I hope that today’s charges send a clear message that we will continue to attack the opioid epidemic from all angles, whether it is corporate greed or street-level dealing.”
J.P. Holyoak, from Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona said, the anti-Prop 205 group is “knowingly accepting money from one of the worst actors in the business,” a “company engaged in illegal marketing schemes, that is intentionally hooking people on opioids.”
Some say the war on marijuana is over, while the war on opioids continues. A nationally legalized and regulated marijuana industry appears to be on the horizon.