February 7, 2014

York County optometrist and former staff member charged in prescription drug abuse scheme

HARRISBURG ? Attorney Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of a York County optometrist and one of his former staff members following an investigation into the doctor's prescribing practices.

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Dr. David Wagers

Amanda Peters

According to the criminal complaint, Dr. David Wagers, formerly an optometrist at Apple Hill Eye Center, 25 Monument Road, Suite 297, York, enlisted the assistance of a former employee, Amanda Peters, to fill prescriptions for oxycodone. The charges state that Wagers wrote prescriptions in Peters' name, which she then filled at various area pharmacies. Once the scripts had been successfully filled, Peters allegedly returned the pills to Wagers.

In addition to their alleged scheme, Dr. Wagers also allegedly used scripts, which were stolen from a previous employer, to write and fill hydrocodone (a Schedule III controlled substance) prescriptions in his own name.

Investigators said that Dr. Wagers had a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration to prescribe Schedule III, IV and V controlled substances. However, Dr. Wagers did not have any authority to prescribe oxycodone, which is a Schedule II controlled substance.

Attorney General Kane noted that a law requiring the use of state-issued prescription pads, as well a reporting requirement when those pads are stolen, would assist physicians, pharmacists and law enforcement in preventing forged prescriptions from being filled.

Dr. Wagers and Peters were preliminarily arraigned in York County by Dallastown magisterial District Judge Scott Laird. Peters was released on $5,000 unsecured bail and Dr. Wagers was released on $7,500 unsecured bail.  The case will be prosecuted in York County by York County District Attorney Tom Kearney's office.

Attorney General Kane thanked the York Area Regional Police for their assistance with the investigation.

Below is a list of the defendants and the charges against them.

--Dr. David Wagers, 43, 540 Old Farm Road, Palmyra, Lebanon County, is charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance by fraud, one count of prescribing a controlled substance not in accordance with treatment principles, one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of failure to keep records of distribution of controlled substances.

--Amanda Peters, 29, 670 Quaker Meeting Road, Wellsville, York County, is charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance by fraud and one count of criminal conspiracy.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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