Physician Sentenced to 11 Years for Illegally Prescribing Painkillers
A Pittsburgh-area doctor and father of five is facing serious consequences for abusing his power and promoting addiction and abuse in his community for personal gain.
Doctors take an oath to “do no harm.” They are the professionals we go to for help and healing. But some physicians are finding ways to use their power for personal gain – causing pain to others in the process.
One Pittsburgh-area doctor was recently held accountable for his crimes, stripped of his federal license to issue narcotics, sentenced to a hefty 11 years in prison and ordered to repay $700,000 to two health insurance companies he bilked.
Oliver Herndon, 40, pled guilty in May 2012 to a charge of intentionally prescribing controlled substances — mostly the painkillers oxycodone and oxymorphone — without a legitimate medical purpose and with healthcare fraud.
The married father was arrested after a lengthy investigation that began in fall 2011 after 26 Pittsburgh-area pharmacies contacted federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents with concerns about unusually large prescriptions for narcotic painkillers from Herndon. The DEA raided Herndon’s palliative care practice in an upscale suburb and found the abuse was so rampant that 87 other area pharmacies had stopped filling Herndon’s prescriptions.
Herndon allegedly supplied patients with so many illegal painkillers that his arrest in early 2012 caused the street price of the pills to double in some locations as his “customers” scrambled to get their meds elsewhere. When he was operating, a single oxycodone tablet cost between $20 and $30. After Herndon’s arrest, the price jumped to $40.
Painkiller Addiction Help at The Canyon
If you or someone you love needs treatment for an addiction to prescription painkillers, call The Canyon at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.