Memphis psychiatrist found guilty of unlawfully distributing opioids

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The Justice Department announced 11 more physicians have been charged for over-prescribing opioids through “pill mill” clinics, resulting in the distribution of more than 17 million pills.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis psychiatrist was found guilty of unlawfully distributing opioids, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The DOJ says 83-year-old licensed psychiatrist Richard Farmer, of Memphis, was found guilty of three counts of distribution of controlled substances outside of the scope of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

Farmer was charged in April 2019 after reportedly giving opioids to three sisters. The DOJ says Farmer had “ongoing sexual contact” with them during the time he was prescribing the opioids.

Farmer is accused of prescribing more than 1,200 pills to the sisters between July 2016 and January 2019, even though the sisters showed signs of addiction.

The DOJ says Farmer kept almost no patient files on these women, and that he also wrote opioid prescriptions for women’s friends and neighbors without any office visits.

Farmer will be sentenced on May 22.

Farmer was charged as a part of the first Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force Takedown. The DOJ says this was the first trial guilty verdict for the ARPO Strike Force.

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