The Lebanon County woman leads to the fact that she is a patient of the “pill factory” doctor to lose everything
WILLIAMSPORT – A Lebanon County woman said Monday that she “lost everything” when she became a patient of the top oxycodone prescriber in Pennsylvania from 2014-2016.
Dawn Smith, of Cornwall, testified in the US Middle District Court that she went from no drug use, “not even a joint,” to addiction to opioid pain relievers and then heroin. She wrote this change to Dr. Raymond J. Kraynak, 64, whom she called an illegal drug dealer. Authorities have called him a “pill factory” doctor.
Kraynak, who has offices in Mount Carmel and Shamokin, is charged with failing to prescribe millions of opioids, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, for legitimate medical purposes. Five of the charges relate to the illegal distribution and dispensing of controlled substances resulting in death.
Smith, who grew up in Ashland, testified that she was worried about gaining weight, and a friend’s mother recommended Kraynak.
She told jurors that she was initially prescribed weight loss medication, but after trying an opioid pain reliever given by a friend, she was able to get her own by falsely claiming her tailbone was injured.
The Air Force and Army National Guard veteran testified that she had made excuses to keep getting prescriptions for the opioids such as oxycodone and percocet.
Her appointments with Kraynak were short and she was not examined, Smith said. They would involve small talk, and even though he was married he would show her pictures of his girlfriend, she said.
She would go over a 30-day intake of pills early so he would keep prescribing them, but for a shorter period of time, she said. It has gotten to the point where she sees him every five days, she said.
Her business with Kraynak began in 2012, and she said she was never asked to take a drug test until her last appointment in January 2016. She didn’t take it because she would test positive, she said.
When she couldn’t get the pain medication, Smith said she would buy heroin on the street. She also lived in Mount Carmel and Kulpmont.
As a result, she was arrested and spent a short time in prison. She would go to rehab but then relapse, she said.
She was employed as a waitress, had been clean for a little over two years and was rebuilding relationships with her children, she said.
During cross-examination, Smith admitted that he had not followed the pill instructions on the bottle. “I felt the doctor should have intervened and he didn’t,” she said.
A number of other patients testified about the prescriptions they received from Kraynak during the study, which is in its third week.
Jurors also heard from pharmacists who stopped filling out his prescriptions because of their concerns.
During the Tuesday hiatus, the government’s expert Dr. Stephen M. Thomas, an interventional pain management specialist in Pittsburgh, on the witness stand reviewing numerous files confiscated from Kraynak.
In his opinion, Kraynak did not follow standard medical procedures in issuing prescriptions, including those given to five patients who died from an overdose.
By not documenting the reason for the prescriptions or the number of pills, he was not doing his job, Thomas said.
Records in Kraynak’s files from doctors and hospitals showed that he was aware of patients’ medical histories, he said. One of the dead was a documented addict, he said.
The state Board of Osteopathic Medicine has suspended Kraynak’s license to practice medicine until the charges are resolved and the state health department has denied him the ability to write prescriptions for medical marijuana.
He gave up his Drug Enforcement Administration license to dispense controlled substances as a condition of being released on unsecured bail of $ 500,000.
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