4 Montco doctors accused of illegally prescribing opioids, other prescription drugs

The 4 were acting separately; DA expects more arrests to come

Jim Melwert
September 12, 2018 - 2:55 pm
Four doctors who were practicing in Montgomery County are facing charges on allegations that they were illegally prescribing opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs.

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Four doctors who were practicing in Montgomery County are facing charges on allegations that they were illegally prescribing opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs. 

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said the charges are serious and the crimes are significant.

"The four defendants we're talking about today are not selling drugs out of a car or on a street corner. They're wearing white coats," Steele said. "Instead of using a firearm, they were using a prescription pad to do the damage they were doing."

Steele said one of the doctors charged, Joseph Cipriano of Norristown, was "prescribing large amounts of controlled substances to a number of female patients. He does this in exchange for nude photographs, videos or sexual favors."

And according to Steele, another doctor, Lawrence Miller from Lansdale, was prescribing as many as 500 pills at a time.

"Nine of Miller’s patients died of drug overdoses. Although most died from a combination that included different street drugs, the patients had recently received prescriptions for controlled substances from the doctor."

The two other doctors charged are Brian Keeley in Ambler and Joseph Rybicki in Lower Moreland.

The four were acting separately and were not connected.

Steele expects more arrests. 

"If you're a doctor and you are providing dealers with scripts to sell on the streets or you are illegally prescribing medicines to addicts, you should beware," Steele said.

He said these investigations often start with tips from concerned friends or family.