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State suspends license of local family physician

Published August 20. 2013 05:04PM

An Allentown doctor who practiced medicine in Carbon County and who faces drug-related charges has had his license suspended, at least for now.

The Probable Cause Screening Committee of the Pennsylvania State Board of Osteopathic Medicine on Aug. 2 temporarily suspended the license to practice of John R. Manzella, 48, of Salisbury Township. Manzella maintained an office in Jim Thorpe.

According to a public notice published Monday in the TIMES NEWS, the committee suspended Manzella's license, pending a hearing, on the grounds "that his continued practice within the Commonwealth may be an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety."

Manzella was charged on July 23 with drug and identity theft violations in connection with a $400,000 prescription painkiller scheme involving Robert J. Kosch of Newark, N.J. Kosch was charged in June with using fraudulent prescriptions in 2011 and 2012 to obtain 17,740 Oxycodone pills from three Carbon County pharmacies.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by agent Jose Collazo of the Office of the State Attorney General, Manzella created fictitious patients for whom the painkillers were prescribed.

He faces felony charges of administration etc. of a controlled substance by a practitioner; acquisition or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation; administration etc. of a controlled substance by a practitioner; manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; and identity theft.

A preliminary hearing date has yet to be scheduled. The criminal complaint was filed with District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe.

According to Collazo's affidavit, numerous Oxycodone prescriptions from Manzella were filled in Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.

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