Digital Exclusive: Scranton doctor indicted reaction

Digital Exclusive

“First, ‘I shall do no harm’ is their Hippocratic oath.”

A raid at Dr. Kurt Moran’s office in Scranton from early 2018 explained — 423 counts on charges of receiving kickbacks for unlawful prescriptions. Two people died.

The Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney David Freed allege Dr. Moran received roughly $140,000 between 2014 and 2017. The crime? Prescribing a fentanyl-based pain killer used for cancer patients to those not qualified.

Freed saying in a DOJ release: “This defendant, an experienced and substantial dispenser of powerful pain medications, lined his own pockets to the detriment of his patients. He accepted bribes and kickbacks for prescribing medication narrowly approved to treat only cancer patients suffering breakthrough cancer pain. He then concealed and disguised the payments he received for prescribing that drug as compensation for providing educational presentations.”

Moran now potentially faces thousands in fines, suspension of his license, and life behind bars.

Communities in northeast Pennsylvania now coping with the fallout.

“Why do this? Why? What’s the purpose?” Stefanie Wolownik asks.

A prevention education specialist with Wyoming Valley Drug and Alcohol Services, Wolownik’s disgusted.

“Is there no thought after thought of this? What do you think is going to happen? You think that you know they’re going to live their lives as a productive human being, if they’re hooked on these on opioids?” Wolownik said.

Cases with the potential to discredit medical professionals like this? A major problem amid an ever-present epidemic.

“Doctors are seen as above reproach. And that’s why we have such a problem with opioid addiction, because ‘oh, the doctor prescribed it for me,'” Wolownik said.

Moran is innocent until proven guilty, but if what’s in black and white stands?

“If this is true, this this gentleman is you know he’s off the market, that is, that certainly is really, because that’s one less doctor prescribing fentanyl,” Wolownik said.

Wolownik says when it comes to these cases there’s an uphill battle ahead for those fighting addiction, those aiding in the fight and some who never saw the fight coming.

“We all make mistakes, but some mistakes can cost people lives,” Wolownik said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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