Mt. Carmel PA

DEA Agents link doctor to five overdose deaths

Mt. Carmel, PA is a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania, located almost 100 miles from Philadelphia in the old anthracite coal region. DEA officials are claiming this quiet town is the epicenter of the state’s largest prescription “pill mill” where one doctor has single-handedly prescribed millions of pills over the last few years.

According to the Daily Independent, Raymond Kraynak is a family doctor who prescribed more than 6 million pain-killing opioids during a 5 ½ year period, leading to his arrest Thursday in the overdose deaths of five patients.

No doctor in all of Pennsylvania prescribed more doses of opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin and fentanyl in the 19 months leading into July 2017 than Kraynak’s 2,792,490, said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Behe.

Those doses went to a combined 2,838 patients, largely from Northumberland and Schuylkill counties in east-central Pennsylvania.

Attorney Thomas Thornton argued on Kraynak’s behalf that the family practitioner should be released from custody promptly. He said the doctor operates seven days a week in an area reportedly designated as undermanned for physicians..

“There aren’t enough doctors in that area at all,” Thornton said, arguing there’s no indication Kraynak is a danger to the community.

Kraynak has lifetime family and business ties to the Mount Carmel area and served 20 years on the school board for the Mount Carmel Area School District.

“I find it stunning the defendant is requesting for his release to return to practice,” said Behe, Assistant U.S. attorney for Pennsylvania’s Middle District. “Five people are dead as a result of his prescribing of controlled substances.”

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To learn more details about how one doctor in Pennsylvania is facing charges for over-prescribing opioids, please visit the Daily Independent.

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