A $1 billion family dentist in Pennsylvania could soon be out of work as a result of the opioid crisis
A family dentist who works in Pennsylvania is facing the possibility of losing his job over a growing number of opioid-related deaths.
On Wednesday, a Pennsylvania judge ordered the family dentist, who works for Blackwell Dental in Lancaster, to pay a $1.5 million penalty to the state of Pennsylvania for illegally prescribing opioids to the dentist’s patients.
The family dentist’s employer, Blackwell Family Dentistry, had initially denied the claims, arguing that the dentist had been operating without a license for decades and that there was no evidence that he had violated the state’s opioid prescribing law.
But on Wednesday, the state agreed to pay the $1 million penalty, saying that the family dental practice was knowingly violating the state prescribing law and that it did not have a license to prescribe opioids.
According to a statement from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Blackfield Family Dentists’ decision to plead guilty was made in accordance with Pennsylvania law and the state constitution.
The dentist, whose name has not been released, will be required to pay $1,500 a day in fines and court costs.
The state has also taken a “deteriorating stance” against opioid prescriptions, according to a press release from the Attorney General.
The investigation by the Attorney’s Office began after an employee filed a whistleblower complaint about the family’s practice.
The state’s investigation resulted in the criminal charges.
According the Attorney Attorney General, the family had been selling prescription painkillers and heroin to their patients for at least two decades, and they prescribed opioids to a large percentage of their patients.
In a statement, Blackman Family Dentist said the dentist was disappointed in the settlement, but hoped that the case would prompt other health care providers to follow suit and that patients would be safer in their health care.
“The Blackwell family is proud of its past accomplishments and will continue to operate as a trusted and compassionate provider to all of our patients,” the statement read.