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Local doctor pleads guilty

By Preston Ayres, payres@wcyb.com
Published On: Dec 11 2012 05:39:37 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 10 2012 11:00:00 PM CST

A local doctor who once ran one of the region's most well-known cancer treatment centers was in federal court in Greeneville Tuesday.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -

A well-known Johnson City physician admitted to a federal judge he knowingly received medications at his practice that were not approved by the FDA.    

Dr. William Kincaid once practiced at Mcleod Cancer and Blood in Johnson City, but on Tuesday he walked out of the federal court house as a convicted felon.

Dr. Kincaid pleaded guilty to one count receiving an illegal shipment of a cancer medication in 2011 from a non-FDA approved manufacturer in Switzerland; that was an action prosecutors said put the lives of patients at risk. "There is no assurance what patients received, we don't know, the physicians don't know what the patients received," said Neil Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney. 

For sisters Debbie Swift and Deniece Norris, the hearing was sense of closure for their father who was once a patient of the well-known physician. "We needed peace of mind, we needed to know the truth, and we received that now we are where we need to be with this," Debbie Swift said.

This case is part of a much larger investigation into doctors buying medication from sources outside of the United States because it's cheaper. "Basically what a physician is doing by buying drugs from unapproved sources at prices lower-than-average sale prices is to maximize profits," said Smith.

Kincaid offered no explanation for his actions during his guilty plea. He was released from jail on a $20,000 bond while he awaits sentencing.   

Outside the courthouse, his attorneys told us there are still more facts about the case that have not yet come to life. "We may file something with the court of record in the next couple of weeks that will add to the facts of the plea agreement," said defense attorney Guy Blackwell.

"[We'll] begin to tell the whole story, learn what the whole story is in this thing," added defense attorney Mark Slagle.

The attorneys said their client will speak publicly at some point.    

Dr. Kincaid faces up to three years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He will be sentenced June 3.

The investigation into misbranded medication at Mcleod Cancer and Blood involved more that one shipment of medication.    

Kincaid's guilty plea Tuesday morning to just one count against him was part of a plea agreement worked out with prosecutors.          

Mcleod Cancer and Blood has since closed its doors.