Tennessee Physician Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Hydrocodone Distribution Resulting in Death

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A Tennessee physician was sentenced today in the Western District of Tennessee to 20 years in prison for his unlawful prescribing of opioids that caused the death of one of his patients.

According to court documents, Thomas K. Ballard III, 63, of Jackson, a medical doctor, owned and operated the Ballard Clinic, where he prescribed controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Among other things, Ballard engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with several female patients while he ignored red flags that they were abusing the medications he prescribed. These abuses were often reflected in Ballard’s own medical records.

Ballard’s unlawful prescribing to one patient led to her death. Ballard’s treatment records indicated that he believed the patient had psychiatric issues, overutilized medication, had engaged in manipulation, and fabricated personal trauma. The records also reflected that the patient had been incarcerated, received prescriptions elsewhere for Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid dependency disorder, and that she had abnormal drug testing results, including because of what Ballard believed was tampering. Nevertheless, Ballard prescribed the patient hydrocodone repeatedly, including on May 28, 2015. She fatally overdosed on the prescription drug the following day. On June 23, 2021, Ballard pleaded guilty to one count of illegal drug distribution resulting in death.

Comments / 33

Chris Creech

These doctors are the ones that need life sentence, instead of the government stepping in and restricting the pain meds that patients get, no matter their injuries. It gives pain patients a life sentence of having to deal with excessive pain because of these restrictions. Thats what they dealt to me.

no nonsense2021

Yes patients who need pain management have greatly had their pain management affected by people selling their pain meds, by bad doctors, and the government. But the pharmaceutical companies have actually done and caused the most harm and in ways that most don't even think of... Pharmaceutical companies did their best to have non pharmaceutical treatments stopped from being developed or used so that they could keep people on their addictive pain meds and get others on them instead of treatments to actually fix the root cause of the pain or greatly reduce it! They also fought to have potential new pain meds stopped from being made. Even stopped a medication the military was going to use in active combat where service members whose leg is blown off could have greatly benefited from the new drug... The whole system and the players are sh*t


Yes the government doesn’t like when you prescribe things that work the can not make money off of or control .


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