24 Hours: 3 Dilaudid Prescriptions

Let’s take a look at the Dilaudid prescriptions from August 15 and early on the morning of August 16, 1977:

From Dr. Nichopoulos’s book, page 13:

DR. NICHOPOULOS:  “All I know is when Elvis called me about his tooth hurting this morning, he asked if I could give him something for pain.  (No narcotics were in his nighttime sleeping medication.)  I didn’t have my bag at home, so I told him I’d have to write a prescription.”

03/04/20: You know where a doctor is supposed to keep his bag? With him. That’s the reason for the bag.

DR. NICHOPOULOS:  “Then I wrote a prescription for a few Dilaudid tablets.”

The date of this prescription, for “a few Dilaudid tablets,” was August 16, 1977.  But why did Dr. Nichopoulos write this prescription, if he had written a prescription for 50 (4mg) tablets on August 15, just one day prior, in addition to 20cc of liquid Dilaudid?  Add to this, prescriptions dated 8/15/77 for Amytal (pain medication/barbiturate), Dexedrine, Biphetamine, Percodan (pain medication), and Quaalude (barbiturate)?

NOTE:  Dilaudid is used for moderate-to-severe pain.

Why did Dr. Nichopoulos not simply provide Dilaudid from the 8/15/77 prescription?  Where were these 50 tablets?  If these prescriptions were part of an “order” for medication, as is often claimed (and appears to be the case, though there were corresponding prescriptions), Dr. Nichopoulos knew that writing prescriptions to build a stockpile of medications for “general dispensing” was in violation of Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, 1306.4(b), as seen here:

Likewise, the pharmacist also knew this was a violation, yet both continued.  And here (below), from page 175 of his book, Dr. Nicopoulos admits what he was doing (in addition to lying to Vernon Presley, though it was Patsy Presley who wrote the checks):

03/04/20: Dr. Nichopoulos had stated that this August 16 prescription was for “a few” Dilaudid tablets. He had also stated it was for “three or four” Dilaudid tablets. There is one report that the prescription was for six Dilaudid tablets, and that Dr. Nichopoulos phoned in the prescription. W.S. Nash, the pharmacist on duty at the Baptist pharmacy that morning (8/16/77) stated that around 2:30am a young man came in with a prescription written by Dr. Nichopoulos for Elvis Presley, for twelve Dilaudid tablets. Twelve is a lot different than “a few,” it’s a lot different than “three or four,” and it’s a lot different than “six.” Twelve is the number of tablets that Nash reports was prescribed to Elvis early that morning, for an alleged toothache. The prescription was written without an examination of the patient. Twelve Dilaudid tablets…for a toothache.

Note: The pharmacist who filled the August 15 prescriptions is not the same pharmacist who filled the early morning prescription on August 16. Jack Kirsch filled the former, W.S. Nash the latter. Also interesting to note that while Elvis was getting prescriptions from different doctors leaving Nichopoulos unable to trace where all the prescription medication was coming from, Nichopoulos was likewise prescribing medication via different pharmacists, leaving (in this case) Nash unaware of what he was doing. Kirsch, on the other hand, was well-aware of what was going on.

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