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AL.com
Indictment of Fairhope doctor says he wrote fake prescriptions
An Alabama doctor has been indicted on three counts of writing illegitimate prescriptions for his patients.
By Tyler Carter
July 30, 2019

Psychiatrist James Edwards

Psychiatrist James Edwards

A Fairhope psychiatrist accused of writing illegal prescriptions has been indicted, according to U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr.

Dr. James Henry Edwards III, 72, of Fairhope, appeared in court on Tuesday for to be arraigned after being charged with drug distribution offenses.

Until his arrest on July 11, 2019, Edwards was a practicing psychiatrist with offices in Opelika and Gulf Shores.

Edwards is charged with three counts of unlawfully distributing controlled substances by writing medically illegitimate prescriptions.

He is alleged to have unlawfully prescribed the following drugs: alprazolam, most notably known as “Xanax”; dextroamphetamine-amphetamine, or “Adderall”; hydrocodone, commonly known as “Norco,” and/or “Lortab”; lisdexamfetamine, commonly as “Vyvanse”; lastly, diazepam, commonly known as “Valium.”

If he is convicted, Edwards faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment on each count. He also faces substantial monetary penalties and restitution.

Edwards pleaded not guilty on each count at his arraignment on Tuesday. Trial date has been scheduled for Dec. 2, 2019 in Opelika.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General.

Assisting on the case were: the Opelika, Alabama Police Department; the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners; the Gulf Shores, Alabama Police Department; the United States Department of Defense – Office of Inspector General; and the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys’ Jonathan S. Ross, Megan A. Kirkpatrick, and Alice S. LaCour are prosecuting the case.