Healthcare Business News

Doc in Pa. 'pill mill' case faces new charge

By Joe Carlson
Posted: November 30, 2012 - 11:45 am ET

Dr. Norman Werther, who is already facing numerous charges for participating in an alleged Philadelphia-area "pill mill," was hit with an additional charge of causing a death in September 2010 by prescribing 180 oxycodone pills to a person known as N.B. who did not need the drugs and later died from using them.

A superseding indictment charges Werther, 79, with distribution of controlled substances resulting in a death, as well as money laundering and numerous other crimes for his alleged role as a doctor who dealt sham prescriptions for narcotics such as oxycodone to at least six separate groups of drug dealers. The pills were sold on the street after fake patients such as N.B. paid Werther about $150 per office visit, according to a news release about the indictment.

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Werther is accused of, between February 2009 and August 2011, writing prescriptions for the distribution of more than 700,000 oxycodone pills from his office in Willow Grove, Pa. The pills distributed to one of the organizations he worked with were valued at more than $5 million, the release said.

Werther was first charged in August 2011, along with a smaller group of co-defendants that has since grown to include 67 other people, most of whom have pleaded guilty. At least four other defendants and Werther are still awaiting trial on the charges.

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