Lancaster Doctor Charged With Unlawful Prescribing

July 20, 2021 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the Office of Attorney General has charged Dr. Robert Mathews with prescribing medications such as Xanax, Adderall, and Subutex outside his legal and ethical practice of medicine.

“Dr. Mathews was trusted to thoughtfully write prescriptions in his patients’ best interests. Instead, he used his access to prescribe addictive medications that devastated many lives and families in Lancaster County,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “My office will continue to hold individuals accountable who recklessly put the lives of others at risk.”

“This case is an important reminder that law enforcement leaves no stone unturned when it comes to fighting the opioid epidemic – anyone who is responsible for the crimes contributable to this epidemic will be held accountable,” said Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams.

Dr. Mathews failed to prescribe controlled substances in accordance with accepted treatment principles. He also failed to keep accurate medical records supporting the high volume of controlled substances that he prescribed. During patient appointments, he failed to perform routine check-ups and instead prescribed addictive medications without consideration for the wellbeing of his patients.

Former patients told investigators that during their appointments, Mathews would coach them to say they had medical diagnoses that were not accurate in order to justify their controlled substance usage. They characterized Mathews’s office to investigators as a “pill mill.” Patients also reported that Mathews would ask for routine urine samples, but would not supervise patients while doing so and would often leave those samples in the office, unattended. Mathews also reportedly left examination room doors open when conducting examinations, violating confidentiality agreements and exposing routine appointments to other patients and visitors in the office.

A medical expert who reviewed Mathew’s patient files determined that Dr. Mathews failed to act within the scope of the patient relationship; falsified diagnoses to help patients secure high dose, high quantity, addictive medications; and failed to act in accordance with any of the treatment principles accepted by medical professionals.

Mathews is being charged with 14 counts of Unlawful Prescription of Controlled Substances. This case is being prosecuted by the OAG’s Director of Diversion Robert Smulktis and the Lancaster County’s Assistant District Attorney Deborah Greathouse. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

If current or former patients of Dr. Mathews need assistance because they were prescribed controlled substances and have abruptly lost care due to this incident, please contact the Patient Advocacy Program via email at or call 844-377-7367.

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