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February 22, 2017

Feds: South Philly doctor pleads guilty to illegal sale of $5 million in pills

Courts Prescription Drugs
022217_AlanSummerspills Alan Summers/YouTube

Dr. Alan Summers.

A South Philadelphia doctor pleaded guilty Wednesday to the illegal sale of more than $5 million in prescription drugs, including Suboxone and Klonopin, following a federal indictment handed down last May.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced that Dr. Alan Summers, 78, of Ambler, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud and money laundering through his former National Association for Substance Abuse-Prevention & Treatment (NASAPT) located on South Broad Street.

Summers and two other defendants, Dr. Azad Khan and Dr. Keyhosrow Parsia, sold prescriptions for Suboxone and Klonopin — drugs used to treat the symptoms of opioid addiction and anxiety — in exchange for cash payments, prosecutors said.

The indictment charged that none of the defendants performed medical or mental health examinations as required by law prior to selling the pills to their customers. Summers also helped patients obtain health insurance benefits for the illegally prescribed controlled substances by providing false information to health insurance companies. Many of the clinic's customers were allegedly drug dealers and addicts who then turned around and sold the pills independently.

Undercover investigators reported receiving "massive" quantities of Suboxone and Klonopin at NASAPT after obtaining diagnoses for opioid dependence and other anxiety disorders.

“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.”

Sentencing for Summers has been set for May 22.