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Press Release

Western Kentucky Physician Convicted Of Illegal Distribution Of Controlled Substances

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

Prescribed opiate pain medications outside the course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose to multiple patients

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A Franklin, Kentucky, physician was convicted today on 15 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances by way of prescribing opiate pain medications outside of the course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medial purpose, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman.

“Kentucky families rely on our doctors to ‘do no harm,’ however, in this case, a Western Kentucky doctor was no more than a drug dealer in a white coat,” stated United States Attorney Russell Coleman. “As much as we respect the medical profession, this is a warning to physicians who purposefully overprescribe pain pills without a legitimate medical purpose  - you will lose your medical license and ultimately serve time in federal prison.”

Roy D. Reynolds, age 69, was convicted following a nine day trial, before United States District Court Judge Greg N. Stivers. Reynolds was taken into federal custody following the announcement of the verdict.

Reynolds was a doctor practicing in Franklin, Kentucky, in Simpson County during the time of the illegal activity. Reynolds was the treating physician to patient Jackie Hughes at the time of Hughes’s death and prescribed opioids including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and Xanax to an additional four patients, without a legitimate medical purpose, who were not considered good candidates for opioids. The patients had medical histories of mental illness, doctor-shopping, and additional risk factors for opiate abuse and addiction.

According to evidence presented at trial, from 2010 to 2013, the covered period of the illegal activity, Dr. Reynolds prescribed more Oxycodone than any other primary care prescriber in Simpson County and ranked among the top 5% of prescribers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Specifically, in 2011, Reynolds prescribed 132,372 oxycodone pills (second most prescribed oxycodone pills by a primary care physician in Simpson County was 9,765) and in 2012 Reynolds prescribed 139,667 pills (second most oxycodone pills prescribed by a primary care physician in Simpson County was 11,794). In February of 2013, Reynolds lost his DEA license to prescribe opiate pain medications. However, during the first five week period, Reynolds prescribed more opiate pain medications than any other Simpson County physician prescribed during 2013.

In 2011, Reynolds’ patient, Jackie Hughes, had a history of illegal drug usage and psychiatric issues which were documented in the patient charts.  Further, Hughes had a KASPER report also suggesting opiate abuse and diversion.  Although Hughes made various somatic complaints, Dr. Reynolds never objectively documented a legitimate source of pain. Reynolds supplied Hughes with opioids and benzodiazepines for over ten years – when an opiate centric treatment plan was contraindicated because of risk factors inherent with a history of drug abuse.

Nonetheless, Dr. Reynolds placed Hughes on a regimen of chronic opiate therapy, and did not monitor or enforce patient accountability, (did not perform urine screens or pill counts), and did not attempt to wean Hughes off opiates.  Between February 2009 and April 2011, Dr. Reynolds repeatedly prescribed oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and Xanax, a Schedule IV controlled substance, to Hughes outside the course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. 

Reynolds is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stivers, on July 31, 2018, at 9:30am CST, in Bowling Green.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Weiser and Rob Bonar with assistance from paralegals Mary Kennedy and Jane Bauer, and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Kentucky State Police, and the Kentucky Office of Inspector General, Division of Audits and Investigations, Drug Enforcement and Professional Practice Branch.

Updated April 23, 2018

Prescription Drugs