A local physician who has openly advocated the use of painkillers for many patients was arrested on federal drug distribution charges.
Glenn Bryan Davis, 61, whose medical license was suspended in October, faces 136 counts of prescribing and distributing opiates to eight patients between August 2011 and February 2013.
“We believe this is just a large-scale distribution operation,” U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said. “This was well outside the usual course of medical practice.”
Eugene Moyer, listed as “Patient D” in the indictment handed down Tuesday, has already pleaded guilty to reselling the drugs, Hickton said. Two of Moyer’s relatives also pleaded guilty in the distribution scheme.
Moyer received 21 prescriptions for a total of 7,830 doses of controlled narcotics between Dec. 7, 2012, and Feb. 25, 2013, the court papers said.
On Feb. 11, for example, Moyer received 450 oxycodone doses to take eight to nine pills every four hours.
That’s up to 36 pills a day, or a 12-day supply.
But four days later, the court document says, Moyer received another prescription from Davis for another 450 oxycodone pills.
Another patient will be indicted in the coming weeks as the investigation continues, Hickton said.
Each of the 136 counts against Davis carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Davis maintained his innocence following a May 21 raid at his Geistown office and his Upper Yoder Township home in the 200 block of Old Peterson Road.
“They may not like the way I practice medicine,” he said following the raid. “But there is no drug crime here.”
At the time, Davis said he was being targeted by federal agencies because of his aggressive treatment of chronic pain.
He prescribes oxycodone and other medications for people who he says can’t get relief elsewhere. Rite Aid notified him in February it would no longer fill his prescriptions.
“They (the federal agencies) are basically spreading rumors or bullying pharmacies into not filling my prescriptions,” he said at the time of the raid.
As recently as September 2012, Davis was holding programs on pain management. “The Under-Treatment of Pain in the United States” was scheduled that month at a Stonycreek Township church.
Davis has been practicing medicine since 1985 and has been a Johnstown physician since 2000. He has not had staff privileges at a Johnstown hospital for several years.
The FBI, state attorney general’s office, Cambria County Drug Task Force and the Internal Revenue Service conducted the investigation.
Randy Griffith covers health care for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/photogriffer57.