DA: Doctor provided medication in exchange for yard work

Posted: 5:33 PM EST Jan 16, 2014   Updated: 8:26 AM EST Jan 17, 2014
DA Doctor provided medication in exchange for yard work

A Berks County doctor is in trouble with the law after authorities said he illegally prescribed thousands of prescription painkillers to a former patient.

Law enforcement authorities arrested and charged Leonard Marchinski with illegally prescribing a controlled substance to Edward Kamin.

Marchinski, 57, supplied Kamin, 58, with numerous prescriptions in exchange for yard work, authorities said.

"I do not believe this is appropriate and I think it is against the best practices that we expect of our physicians," said District Attorney John Adams.

According to the criminal complaint, Marchinski wrote prescriptions for 153,000 Percocet, Vicodin and Xanax tablets between 2005 and 2012, although Kamin was only his patient until 2006. Police said, on average, that amounted to 46 Percocet tablets a day in 2010.

Kamin would allegedly visit multiple pharmacies to fill the prescriptions, but because Pennsylvania does not have a way to track prescription drugs, it went unnoticed for a number of years.

Adams said the case shows why the state needs to make a change and prevent the growing trend of prescription drug abuse.

"Many members of law enforcement and the attorney general are looking to implement a system in which we can have some accountability. It would prevent the individuals like Edward Kamin from doctor shopping," said Adams.

Police said the exchanges happened in the parking garages at Reading Hospital in West Reading.

In a statement, the Reading Health System said Marchinski is a private practice physician and is not an employee of the health system.

Marchinski was charged with two counts of prescribing a controlled substance not in accordance with treatment principles, two counts of criminal conspiracy to obtain by fraud and one count of failure to keep records. 

Police said Kamin overdosed on the pills in 2012. He did survive. He was charged with two counts of obtaining by fraud, two counts of conspiracy to obtain by fraud and two counts of possession with intent to deliver.