An East County doctor, accused of recycling prescription drugs, defended himself after surrendering his license to the state medical board.
According to state agents, 87-year old Wayne Funk, M.D. collected unused prescription drugs from patients and gave them to others.
The El Cajon psychiatrist, who has been in practice for 50 years, admits he did collect the pills because he didn't want them to go to waste.
"I would give them to low income patients as samples," Funk said Tuesday.
"I have a strong Christian ethic and I was attempting to follow the teachings of Jesus, when you've done these things to my brethren, you've done it unto me," he said.
He's also accused of giving at least one patient hundreds of Xanax pills over the period of two months. Funk says he was duped by that patient. "I was subject to accepting patients at face value which I've always tended to do.. I acknowledge he did a good con job on me."
Xanax is a powerful sedative that is often used as a recreational drug.
Funk claims he didn't know people were using it illegally because he hasn't kept up with new medical regulations over the years. "I could see how that may have given them (investigators) impressions that I was a pill pusher, but that certainly wasn't the case."
Funk says he could have fought the medical board over the accusations, but he chose to give up his license and retire. No criminal charges have been filed against him.