BOSTON (Good Medical) – An ex-stripper turned regional sales manager at Insys Therapeutics Inc. gave a doctor a whirlwind in a Chicago club when the drug maker pushed him to prescribe his spray at Addiction fentanyl, said Tuesday a former Insys employee.

Sunrise Lee, former Regional Sales Manager of Insys Therapeutics Inc., leaves the Federal Courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, January 29, 2019. Good Medical / Nate Raymond

The federal court testimony in Boston took place in the first criminal trial against drug-makers who, according to the authorities, contributed to a drug-related epidemic in the United States that killed dozens thousands of people each year.

Former Insys representative Holly Brown told the jury that the incident with her boss, Sunrise Lee, had occurred after Insys began rewarding the doctor for prescribing his opioid by paying him to take the drug. speak at educational events about the drug.

This Illinois doctor, Paul Madison, is one of many lawyers and prosecutors who have declared Lee and four other former Insys executives and leaders, including the founding founder and past chairman of the board, John Kapoor, conspired to offer bribes to boost sales of the spray, Subsys.

Lee, Kapoor, Michael Gurry, Richard Simon and Joseph Rowan deny having committed a wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved only Subsys for the treatment of cancer pain. Prosecutors allege that physicians paid by Insys often prescribe Subsys to patients without cancer. Defense lawyers note, however, that doctors may prescribe drugs for unspecified purposes.

Drug manufacturers often hire doctors to discuss the benefits of their medications at events with other clinicians, and defense lawyers believe that these events are a legal compensation for doctors' educational work. .

Yet Brown said the Madison events, held at a Kapoor-owned Chicago restaurant, had been followed by his friends rather than by clinicians.

"The idea was that these were not really meant to be educational programs, but were meant to reward physicians," Brown said.

After a dinner in mid-2012, Brown said Lee and Madison had gone to a club where she had witnessed Lee "sitting on her lap as if she was bouncing."

"His hands were poorly placed on his chest," said Brown.

Brown testified that at the time, Madison was running a "notorious" medical practice, which in a 2012 email sent to the jurors, described it as a "sleazy pill mill."

Prosecutors say Insys paid Madison at least $ 70,800 in speaker fees.

Asked by Lee's lawyer, Peter Horstmann, on Madron's cross-examination, "If she seemed to" take advantage of Ms. Lee, "Brown said yes.

In November, Madison was convicted of unrelated indictments for defrauding insurers by charging them for unscheduled chiropractic procedures. His lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.

Report by Nate Raymond in Boston; Edited by Leslie Adler