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California Physician Convicted Of Illegal Opioid Distribution

A California physician has been convicted on 12 counts of distributing opioid pills without a legitimate medical purpose, the Associated Press reports. Donald Siao wrote more than 8,200 prescriptions in a one-year span and one person who received opioids from him died of an overdose. A federal jury found Siao, 58, guilty after a weeklong trial. Siao, who practiced family medicine in San Jose, prescribed oxycodone and hydrocodone in increasing quantities to undercover law enforcement agents posing as patients.

“The undercover agents received prescriptions from Siao despite complaining of only vague pain or discomfort, requesting specific opioids by name, and admitting to sharing the pills with friends and coworkers,” prosecutors said. Eight of the 12 counts against Siao involved a mother and son who received prescriptions from the physician even after claiming to have lost pills or having them stolen, prosecutors said. The son died from an overdose of opioids in December 2019. Sentencing was set for Nov. 7.


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