Skip to Main Content

A former high-ranking Insys Therapeutics executive who dressed as a giant fentanyl spray bottle in a rap video that championed the firm’s addictive opioid painkiller was sentenced to 26 months in prison Thursday for conspiring to bribe doctors to prescribe the drug, despite a prosecutor’s plea for a lighter sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak sought only 20 months for Alec Burlakoff, who became a star witness for the government. Without the cooperation of the former vice president of sales, Wyshak said, it would have been hard, if not impossible, for prosecutors to convict five other former Insys executives at last year’s trial of bribing doctors to prescribe the painkiller to patients who shouldn’t have gotten it.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!