Pike doctor allowed pharmacy to sell drugs he had received as samples

bestep@herald-leader.comApril 17, 2014 

A Pike County doctor has pleaded guilty in a case in which he was accused of letting a pharmacy sell drug samples he had received.

Osteopathic physician Thad R. Manning, 48, will forfeit $250,000 to the federal government, which was the approximate value of what he received as a result of illegal conduct, according to a court record.

Manning also faces up to 12 months in prison and a fine of $100,000 when he is sentenced in July, and will take part in treatment for addiction to pain pills, according to U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey's office.

Manning allowed employees from pharmacies operated by James Ronald Huffman free access to drug samples he had received from manufacturers.

Manning was supposed to give the samples to patients but admitted he knew Huffman would sell them, according to a court document.

Huffman referred to Manning's storage room as "the candy store," prosecutors said in one court document.

In return, Manning's practice got some drugs from the pharmacy free, and Huffman paid Manning's rent, the indictment in the case charged.

The alleged conspiracy went on several years.

Manning was indicted with Huffman and Beverly Lockhart, Huffman's sister and the pharmacy manager.

Huffman committed suicide after he was indicted in the case and another in which he allegedly conspired with the head of a drug ring.

Several people were convicted in the two cases. They included Lockhart; six drug dealers; a pharmacy employee; and Linda Roos, a Texas doctor who illegally wrote prescriptions for people to fill at Huffman's pharmacies.

One of Huffman's stores, Marrowbone Hometown Pharmacy, also pleaded guilty.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655.Twitter: @billestep1

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