By Rachel Dove
PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A Pike County, Ky., doctor has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to federal charges of misbranding drugs.
According to information released by U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey, Dr. Thad Manning, 48, pleaded guilty to the single charge last week and agreed to forfeit $250,000 and enter in a drug rehabilitation program for a personal addiction to hydrocodone. Manning faces a possible sentence of one year when he is sentenced in July.
Court records show that Manning was originally charged with making a false, fictitious or fraudulent statement and conspiracy to sell, purchase or trade prescription drug samples. His trial on these charges was expected to begin this week in federal court but prosecutors filed a notice of intent to file an information against the defendant and asked that he be arraigned on new charges that included adulteration or misbranding of a drug, as well as conspiracy to defraud the federal government.
The information that was filed alleges that between June 2007 and February 2012, Manning requested and received sample prescription medications from pharmaceutical companies, knowing that a condition of receiving them was that he was to dispense them to patients who needed them on a regular basis. The samples were marked with lot numbers and expiration dates.
Manning is accused of permitting the pharmacies with which he shared a building (Marrowbone Clinic Pharmacy and Marrowbone Hometown Pharmacy) to have “unfettered” access to the samples. The pharmacies would then remove the sample medications from their packaging and commingle them in stock bottles with medications purchased from wholesalers, and sell them to their customers.
Because the lot and expiration information would cease to exist, patients would have no way of knowing if their medications had been recalled or had expired.
A filing last Thursday indicates that the previous charges against Manning are being dismissed “pursuant to the defendant entering a guilty plea in the newest case.”
The investigation was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the FBI, the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General and the Kentucky State Police. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented in this case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Gentry.