PHILADELPHIA – Dr. Alan Summers, 78, of Ambler, PA, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him in a scheme to sell commonly abused prescription drugs in exchange for cash payments. Dr. Summers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud, and money laundering, and was announced by Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Tuggle, and Special Agent-in-Charge Nick DiGiulio with Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
Dr. Summers operated a medical clinic on South Broad Street in Philadelphia, and sometimes operated under the business name “NASAPT” (National Association for Substance Abuse-Prevention & Treatment). Dr. Summers employed numerous other doctors, including co-defendants Dr. Azad Khan and Dr. Keyhosrow Parsia. The defendants sold prescriptions for Suboxone and Klonopin in exchange for cash payments. Suboxone is a brand name for a drug used to treat opiate addiction. None of the defendants conducted medical examinations or mental health examinations as required by law in order to legally prescribe these controlled substances. Dr. Summers also assisted his customers in obtaining health insurance benefits for these illegally prescribed controlled substances by providing false information to health insurance companies so that his customers could fill the prescriptions using their health insurance. Many of the customers who frequented this clinic were, in fact, drug dealers or drug addicts who sold the prescribed medications. During the duration of the conspiracy, Dr. Summers illegally sold over $5 million worth of controlled substances.
“We have a public health crisis in this county involving prescription drug abuse that is exacerbated by doctors like Alan Summers,” said Lappen. “Every doctor who abandons his or her ethics to engage in the prescription-for-pay culture is breaking the law. They need to ask themselves whether it is worth the money to put people in danger, to risk the loss of their medical licenses, and to lose their freedom. Our office will continue to investigate and prosecute those individuals whose unscrupulous and illegal conduct contributes to this deadly epidemic.”
“The charges that Dr. Summers have plead to are serious and the penalties for such crimes are severe. Doctors take an oath to uphold specific ethical and medical standards; Dr. Summers failed to maintain those standards when he made the decision to engage in the criminal distribution of controlled substances,” said Gary Tuggle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Division. “We are in the midst of the worst drug epidemic in our country’s history -- rogue doctors play a key role in the illegal diversion of controlled substances that all too often leads to abuse and heroin use.”
“Doctors who enable addicts betray their profession,” said DiGiulio. “In this case the defendants illegally prescribed dangerous controlled drugs and caused government health care programs to pay the fraudulent bills, while the drugs were sold on the streets. We will continue to work with our partners to dismantle dangerous pill mills, protect government funds, and keep the public safe.”
Sentencing has been set for May 22, 2017.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania Bureau of Narcotics Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Livermore.