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Pennsylvania Doctor Charged With Prescribing Fentanyl In Exchange For Illegal Bribes And Kickbacks

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A Pennsylvania doctor was indicted earlier this month on Federal charges that he accepted illegal kickbacks in exchange for writing scrips for a powerful fentanyl narcotic to patients without a medical necessity for such a drug.

Federal prosecutors say the 58-year-old doctor, who maintained practices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, solicited and received over $140,000 in kickbacks and bribes from an Arizona pharmaceutical company to prescribe a proprietary pain medicine containing the synthetic opiod fentanyl. Classified by the FDA for use only in cancer patients undergoing pain-management therapy that does not alleviate existing pain, fentanyl is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine.

According to prosecutors, the bribes and kickbacks the defendant received were classified as “honoraria” given him for the purpose of educating licensed providers regarding their drug. However, they say the programs were nothing but a sham, as there was no audience of licensed practitioners, no presentation about the drug in question, no appreciable difference in audience members from one presentation to the next, and the defendant allegedly failed to attend some of the presentations he was purportedly paid to give.

In the course of writing scrips for medically-unnecessary prescriptions of fentanyl, the defendant allegedly caused Medicare to pay over $847,000 to the drug company for said prescriptions that were not eligible for reimbursement.

The defendant was arrested in late June and charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive health care kickbacks and four counts of receiving health care kickbacks on the same day. A trial date for those charges has yet to be determined.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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