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Dr. Philip Wagman, left, and Dr. Thomas Wilkins are headed to prison.

Two doctors who prescribed massive quantities of addictive narcotics including OxyContin received lengthy prison terms.

Yesterday, Lawrence County common pleas Judge J. Craig Cox sentenced Dr. Philip G. Wagman, 48, of 1712 Gretchen Road, and Dr. Thomas Wilkins, 43, of 511 Mount Jackson Road, to prison terms in state correctional facilities.

Wagman, a pain doctor, faces 19 to 45 years in prison. Cox ordered him to pay a total of $835,000 in fines and $17,604.71 in court costs.

The judge commented that Wilkins’ prison term was lenient because his actions were not at severe as Wagman, who prescribed the medications.

A chiropractor, Wilkins faces 10 to 30 years in prison and fines of $846,000 plus $17,604 in prosecution costs.

Because they are convicted felons, the doctors were also ordered to provide samples for DNA testing.

The two operated Work-Med and Chiro-Med, which was located at 2017 W. State St., Union Township. According to court records, they illegally prescribed addictive narcotics from 2002 through 2003.

Wilkins would see the patients and refer them to Wagman and another doctor in the clinic. Wagman then provided the patients with the prescriptions, according to trial testimony.

Wilkins’ marginal chiropractic clinic grew from five or six patients per day to 65 to 115 patients after Wagman joined the practice in 2002. Patients, who reportedly sold their prescription medications, lined up before the office opened at 8 a.m. Some returned every other day for prescriptions.

Jeffrey Baxter of the state Attorney General’s Office and District Attorney John Bongivengo agreed that the judge’s sentences were more than fair.

“I’m certainly pleased,” Baxter said. “I think the sentence Judge Cox imposed takes into account the seriousness of the offenses, considering the harm it did to the citizens of this community.”

During sentencing, Baxter told Cox that Wagman and Wilkins “were drug dealers hiding behind their diplomas.”

“To abuse a professional duty to your patients like that goes without excuse,” he said after the proceeding.

“I’m very satisfied,” Bongivengo said. “When you have doctors essentially acting as drug dealers, I can’t think of anything more detrimental to a community.”

The judge sent a clear message that that type of activity cannot be tolerated, Bongivengo continued.

“I just can’t imagine the impact that the amount of OxyContin they put on the streets had on the community.”

The two doctors were convicted May 9 in a jury trial on 19 counts each of violating the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act and one count each of conspiracy to violate the state drug act by providing prescriptions for narcotics, including OxyContin. Wagman was also convicted of a charge of flight to avoid apprehension.

The jury returned innocent verdicts for both men on 11 other charges of Medicaid fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud.

Dr. William Mangino, 62, formerly of Philadelphia, faces similar felony charges in the case. He is expected to stand trial next month or in September, Baxter said.

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