Matthew Perry smiling while wearing glasses

Police Suspect 'Doctor Shopping' Played A Role In Matthew Perry's Death

Home / Entertainment / Police Suspect 'Doctor Shopping' Played A Role In Matthew Perry's Death

By Kelly Coffey-Behrens on June 30, 2024 at 2:15 PM EDT

Matthew Perry, 54, passed away last year after he was found unresponsive in his hot tub. A toxicology and autopsy report later revealed that the cause of death was "acute effects of ketamine."

The actor, who is best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the hit television sitcom, "Friends," was in ketamine therapy at the time; however, the autopsy noted that the Ketamine found in Perry’s system could not have been from his therapy, as the drug’s half-life is just a few hours and his last known treatment was over one week before he passed.

This raised questions and concerns as many wondered how Perry got the drug. As police continue investigating the case, law enforcement now believes "doctor shopping" may have been involved.

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Matthew Perry Passes Away

Matthew Perry smiling while wearing a suit

Matthew Perry's death was ruled an accident, with "contributing factors include drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine (used to treat opioid use disorder)," per the autopsy report, obtained by The Blast.

Perry’s “history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema, diabetes; drug use in past — reportedly clean for 19 months; heavy tobacco user for many years but currently not smoking; on ketamine infusion therapy with most recent therapy reportedly one and a half weeks before death," the autopsy report added.

In his effort to overcome drug and alcohol addiction, he reportedly underwent more than 10 life-saving surgeries, made 15 trips to rehab, attended over 6,000 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and went through detox 65 times.

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Suspects Could Be Charged With Mail Fraud

Matthew Perry wearing glasses and smiling at Netflix premiere

Former CIA and FBI special agent Tracy Walder spoke to People Magazine, who revealed that the suspects in Matthew Perry's death could be charged with mail fraud. "They're looking at the illegal transportation of drugs across state lines to people that they have not been prescribed. Obviously, that's a crime," Walder told the outlet. "I think that's probably where they started, and that's most likely the evidence that they would use if that's the case. Those are the charges I could see because I don't see a homicide charge."

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The FBI special agent adds that he believes Perry or someone in his "inner circle" was "doctor shopping" to multiple physicians in different states to obtain the ketamine and that those doctors could have sent prescriptions across state lines. "I don't know if that's the case, but if it's true — that person can also be held accountable just as much as a doctor prescribing drugs across state lines, which is a federal offense."

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Doctor Weighs In On Matthew Perry's Death

Matthew Perry at photocall for new play "Sexual Perversity In Chicago" at the Comedy Theatre

Dr. Michelle Reyes, MD Medical Director of the Med Spot in Woodland Hills, California, explained, "Medical licenses are state issued."

"I can prescribe something to you if you are physically in my state of licensure," she said. "But I can't write a script to someone in another state and I can't send any prescription drugs through the mail to a patient in another state. That is a practice not supported by a state license."

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Will Anyone Be Charged In Matthew Perry's Death?

Matthew Perry wearing glasses

An LAPD investigation has been ongoing since December 2023, but they turned it over to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

"It could take a year or more for charges to be filed," Walder explained. "You're dealing with federal agencies so it takes a while. One case I worked on took four and a half years. They have to convene a grand jury, then they present all the evidence and then the grand jury decides if they want to indict the person or multiple people and press charges. Once indicted, they can make arrests."

"If not, it goes back to the state and they can decide to proceed or not," he added.

The Investigation Nears The End

Matthew Perry in court

As The Blast previously reported, the investigation is nearing its end and "multiple people" could be charged.

“Anytime there's death, you're going to have an initial police response and investigation,” former federal prosecutor Caleb Mason told People. “If somebody dies of an accidental drug overdose, there should be an investigation into where the drugs came from. If the initial investigating agency, if it's the LAPD, they might notify the DEA, they might notify the DA's office. They might notify the U.S. Attorney's office."

"The normal practice is to try and do an investigation into why people died, if they died in a way that might be criminal," he added.

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