A Maryland pharmacist admits to filling fake opioid prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors. The 64-year-old is facing serious prison time for the fraudulent distribution of the addictive drug.
Fraudulent Opioid Distribution
On Aug. 24, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced the guilty plea of 64-year-old Richard Hiller in regard to his illegal distribution of opioids. According to the plea agreement, Hiller, a licensed pharmacist working in Towson, Maryland, admitted to filling out fraudulent opioid prescriptions for several women in exchange for sexual favors.
Hiller admitted that Between January 2014 and February 2017, he would direct two women to come to the back area of the pharmacy before opening time. There, they engaged in sexual intercourse or performed other sexual acts in exchange for filling out fake oxycodone prescriptions.
He also admitted that since 2014, he has been instructing another woman to send him lewd photos and videos of herself. Also, she would allow him to grope and kiss her in exchange for also distributing oxycodone to her even without prescriptions.
Apparently, this particular woman would sometimes use different names to get two simultaneous oxycodone prescriptions from two different doctors, and he would fill them out even with the knowledge that the prescriptions were fraudulent. When she rejected one of his advances, he called the doctors to inform them of the fraud.
Abusing Opioid Addiction
Because he knew that his behavior was fraudulent, he evidently used different or fake names, and even names of family members just to fill the women’s prescriptions. The said women were addicted to opioids, and would even resell the opioids they got from him just to feed their addiction.
In total, Hiller gave out over 20,000 15 mg oxycodone pills. As a result, he could face a maximum of 20 years in prison for conspiracy, and a maximum of 20 years in prison for distributing oxycodone. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15 of this year.
“Those who divert pharmaceutical drugs for illegal purposes further the tragic cycle of addiction and the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.
Opioid addiction and abuse are serious public health issues amid the opioid epidemic in the United States. People who are addicted compulsively seek out the source of their addiction, in this case, opioids, even if it may already cause them harm. In the current opioid epidemic, overdose deaths and opioid abuse during pregnancy are just some of the major problems being experienced by more and more members of the public.
To prevent being a part of the opioid epidemic, people must make sure to take opioid prescriptions only as instructed by physicians and not share the medication with anyone else. For those who are already experiencing addiction, a combination of medication, counseling, and support from family and friends can help the patient go through withdrawal and treat the addiction.