WILLIAMSPORT — Dr. Raymond Kraynak, who the Drug Enforcement Agency listed as the top prescriber of oxycodone in the state, continued to prescribe to patients he had placed on a “do not see” list, according to testimony from a federal drug officer Thursday morning.
Agent Lou Callavini testified Kraynak wrote 32 prescriptions a day in a 30-day work month and that after Kraynak’s Mount Carmel office was served, a search warrant for patient records, the doctor increased his prescriptions of opioids.
“He was the number one prescriber of Oxy in the state from 2014 through 2016,” the agent testified.
Callavini testified that the day he arrived at Kraynak’s office in March 2016, he noticed a patient waiting to be seen, the same patient who was listed on the doctor’s "do not see list."
Kraynak sat at the defense table and listened to the testimony, often taking notes and whispering to his public defenders, Tom Thornton and Gerald Lord.
Callavini said when agents entered Kraynak’s office, it was in “disarray.”
“There were files everywhere and not kept in any order,” the agent said. “It took a long time even with the cooperation of employees inside to find what we were looking for.”
Callavini said once agents got what they were looking for, the files were turned over to another doctor in the exact shape they were collected, to be reviewed.
Callavini testified he became aware of Kraynak after receiving multiple complaints and people voicing concern about overprescribing, prompting an investigation.
Federal agents eventually arrested the now-suspended Mount Carmel doctor on Dec. 21, 2017. Kraynak, 64, is charged with 12 counts of illegal distribution or dispensing, five counts of illegal distribution or dispensing resulting in death and two counts of maintaining drug-involved premises for his offices in Mount Carmel and Shamokin. The prescription practices resulted in the death of five people, authorities said.
The indictment states Kraynak allegedly prescribed more than six million opioids, such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and fentanyl, between May 2012 and July 2017. Prosecutors seek to hold him responsible for the overdose deaths of five patients that occurred between October 2013 and May 2015. No doctor in all of Pennsylvania prescribed more doses of opioids in the 19 months leading into July 2017 than Kraynak’s 2,792,490.
Callavini testified he spoke with one patient who had originally agreed to visit with Kraynak and attempt to record him giving her a prescription she didn't need, but when the time came to perform the task, the woman decided she couldn't do it.
"And she went in and told him," the agent testified. "So we decided we were not going to attempt this again." Callavini testified it was a "tight-knit" community and agents didn't want to recruit people because it would have jeopardized the investigation.
Callavini testified multiple individuals, who were Kraynak's patients, and who received prescriptions, ended up dying weeks or months after.
Multiple documents were displayed showing death certificates that stated the cause of death as overdoses, many with oxycodone in their systems.
Thornton cross-examined the agent and said the amount of opioids Kraynak prescribed sounded good on the government's indictment, but that the breakdown of medications that were given out between all of Kraynak's patients was actually low.
Thornton said when Callavini arrived at Kraynak's practice in Mount Carmel to serve the warrant, Kraynak actually directed his staff to help the agents with what they were looking for. Callavini said Kraynak was cooperative. Thornton said Kraynak continued to see patients as agents were digging through files inside his practice.
Thornton asked Callivini if there was any evidence Kraynak was making money on prescriptions or if Kraynak had any kickback schemes with any pharmacies, to which Callavini replied, "no."
Callavini testified agents saw bottles of alcohol inside Kraynak's office the day the warrant was served, but Thornton asked Callavini if he had been told they were gifts from patients. "I had heard that," Callavini testified.
Thornton asked if there were any pictures from any DEA agents on the day the warrant was served, but Callavini said he was unsure.
Thornton asked if any agents posed as patients and attempted to get prescriptions from the doctor but were denied, but Callavini replied, "We thought about doing that but no one went in and got denied because it didn't happen."
The trial resumes Monday in federal court in Williamsport.