A Bethlehem Township dentist has been charged with unlawfully providing painkiller pills and prescriptions to a former assistant “without establishing a true doctor-patient relationship,” according to court papers filed by the state Attorney General.
Mark Allen Steinberg, who has a dental practice on Brodhead Road, allegedly called in about 10 Vicodin prescriptions for the former assistant, Tammy Callahan, between 2008 and 2010, the court records say.
Steinberg, 56, of 4417 Tracey Lane, Hanover Township (Northampton County), faces two first-degree felony counts – one for providing unlawful prescriptions and another for providing false information.
He is free on $10,000 unsecured bail after his arraignment before District Judge Joseph Barner of Lower Nazareth Township on Tuesday.
The investigation into Steinberg began in 2011, after Callahan filed a complaint with the Bethlehem Township Police Department, the arrest affidavit says. Township police referred the case to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control.
According to court papers, Steinberg began providing Callahan with five or six Vicodin pills at a time that he had received from Henry Schien, a pharmaceutical company.
After a while, he began to call in prescriptions for her and he would provide the cash to pay for them, Callahan told investigators. However, she had to bring the bottles back to Steinberg so he could hand her the pills five or six at a time.
According to court records:
Steinberg called in prescriptions three times to the Weis at 5580 Crawford Drive; four times to the Kmart in Walnutport, and three times to the Rite Aid in Palmerton. Investigators found records of these prescriptions in interviews with pharmacists at each of these locations.
Steinberg also allegedly ordered nine bottles – each containing 100 Vicodin pills – from Henry Schien between 2008 and 2010.
Steinberg’s patient file for Callahan, which was obtained with a search warrant, indicated that the dentist had only prescribed Vicodin for Callahan twice.