Mar 2, 2019

Insys Therapeutics employees bribed doctors to over-prescribe fentanyl-based pain drug

John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics. Photo: Boston Globe/Getty Images

Alec Burlakoff, the former sales executive for Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics, admitted in federal court on Friday that he was directed to enlist and bribe physicians to boost sales of the company's fentanyl-based pain drug, reports NBC.

Driving the news: In wrapping up the fifth week of the nation's first federal trial spotlighting Big Pharma leadership, founder John Kapoor and the 4 other former Insys executives on trial continue to claim their innocence. Evidence included a music video Burkaloff — who pleaded guilty in November — made, featured employees pitching doctors to prescribe their drug, Subsys.

Go deeper: The implications of the opioid lawsuits

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Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.

Bob Iger stuns media world with sudden departure as Disney CEO

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

In a move that shocked the media industry, Bob Iger said Tuesday he would step down from his role as CEO of the Walt Disney Company after leading the entertainment giant to unprecedented success during his 15-year run in the job.

Why it matters: Iger is credited with having successfully led Disney through a series of risky but highly-successful acquisitions that not only solidified the company's entertainment dominance, but also ultimately reshaped the entire media landscape.

Sanders hits new stratosphere of online interest

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios — Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issues.

For the second straight week, Bernie Sanders has hit the high watermark for online attention in the Democratic primary, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: It's not just quantity. The sentiment of the top stories about Sanders has been more positive than his top Democratic rivals — particularly Michael Bloomberg, whose recent online attention has been overwhelmingly negative.