Pittsburgh Doctor Sentenced In Prescription Drug Case

October 26th, 2012 by admin

When the media uses the word “drug kingpin”, most people envision a seedy and scary person working in the underbelly of society. Perhaps that’s why they aren’t calling Dr. Oliver Herndon a kingpin, because if the term were applied to those who supplied thousands of addicts with their drug of choice, he would certainly fit the bill.

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Herndon was sentenced to more than 11 years this week. He pleaded guilty to intentionally prescribing drugs without a legitimate medical purpose, and with health care fraud. He pled to avoid an even stiffer sentence. He has also been ordered to repay $700,000 to two health insurance companies.

So, what was the good Dr. Herndon doing? He was supplying the local Pittsburgh area with prescription narcotics and painkillers. He was pushing so many drugs into the area that when he was arrested, the price of pills doubled in some locations.

“My actions since last year were wrong and I accept responsibility for my actions,” Herndon told the judge. Herndon is married with five children.

The investigation against Herndon started last fall after more than two dozen area pharmacies reported his prescribing practices to the DEA. Looking into the doctor, the feds found that an additional 87 pharmacies had stopped filling his prescriptions. According to the Associated Press, one pharmacy actually posted a sign on their door warning of Dr. Herndon’s ban.

Herndon’s prescriptions flooded the streets with so many pills that the street price for a single oxycodone tablet jumped to $40, from $20 or $30 each, depending upon the location, after he was arrested, Kaufman said.

At sentencing Herndon told the judge that he hopes to get his medical license back when it’s all said and done. And that he’d like to use it to help “underserved” populations, acting selflessly rather than selfishly. But, he’ll have to wait a while before he can make this potential dream come true.

Prescription drugs are a serious problem that cross all socioeconomic lines. People in the suburbs are being exposed to drug addiction like never before. And for those whose addictions get severe, heroin is becoming their drug of choice.

Drug charges, whether you are accused of possessing prescriptions or heroin, are serious. But being arrested on a drug offense could offer you the chance at help you need. If you are accused of a drug crime and are in need of treatment, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and the legal options available to you.