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Pennsylvania physician indicted in alleged 'pill mill' opioid operation that caused 5 deaths

Raymond Kraynak doled out millions of opioids without a "legitimate medical purpose," DOJ says.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

A Pennsylvania physician faces multiple life sentences in prison after being indicted on charges he operated a "pill mill" that improperly distributed millions of narcotic painkillers, ultimately leading to the deaths of five patients, the Department of Justice announced.

Raymond Kraynak, 60, of Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on numerous charges including unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, causing the death of five patients by the unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, and maintaining two drug-involved premises in Mt. Carmel and Shamokin, Pennsylvania. No trial date has been set.

[Also: New York doctors, clinic staff indicted in alleged 'pill mill' Medicare fraud ring that funneled millions of narcotics to black market]

Kraynak operated two offices in Mt. Carmel and Shamokin, known as Keystone Family Medicine Associates. According to the DOJ, the indictment alleges that he prescribed roughly 2.7 million units of oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxycontin and fentanyl to a little more than 2,800 patients in a roughly one-and-a-half year period between January 2016 and July 31, 2017.  

"During that time period, he was the top prescriber of those drugs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," the DOJ said.

The indictment states that between 2005 and 2016, Kraynak repeatedly prescribed these opioids without a legitimate medical purpose, and without properly examining the patients, verifying their medical complaints or properly assessing the risk of abuse by those patients, according to the DOJ. 

[Also: Former Tenet executive indicted in alleged $400 million kickback scheme]

Finally, the indictment charged that Kraynak caused the death of five of his patients between 2013 and 2015 through the unlawful distribution of controlled substances to them. 

Kraynak faces a minimum of 20 years up to life in prison for each of the counts where he is alleged to have caused patient death. Each of the counts regarding the distribution of controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice carries up to 20 years in prison, as do the two charges of maintaining a drug-involved premises. The government is also seeking the forfeiture of those two offices, his Pennsylvania medical license and $500,000.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
Email the writer: beth.sanborn@himssmedia.com

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