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Crime

Baltimore County doctor sentenced to four months’ home detention for role in opioid scheme

A federal judge sentenced a doctor Tuesday to four months of home detention for charges of conspiring with others to improperly dispense opioid medications at his Baltimore County pain clinic.

Norman Rosen, 84, was the medical director and part owner of Rosen-Hoffberg Rehabilitation and Pain Management, a pain clinic with locations in Towson and Owings-Mills.

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U.S. District Judge George L. Russell sentenced Rosen to 18 months of probation, which includes his time under home detention, followed by three years of supervised release, after he pleaded guilty in June.

Rosen faced 20 years in prison, but prosecutors agreed to ask for a lighter sentence because of his cooperation and guilty plea, according to court documents.

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According to his plea agreement, patients at the Towson practice where Rosen primarily worked received prescriptions for high doses of oxycodone and other opioid medications, even while using substances like cocaine.

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Prosecutors said Rosen set the policies for the pain clinic, most importantly the belief that the “customer is always right.”

One of Rosen’s patients, a woman in her early 30s, admitted to him she was using street drugs, and her urine tested positive for fentanyl. Rosen prescribed her oxycodone anyway, according to his plea agreement. Another female patient, also in her 30s, had her children taken away from her because of her substance use problems. Rosen also prescribed oxycodone to her, even when illegal drugs were present in her urine.

Some patients of the clinic overdosed, requiring hospitalization or dying, prosecutors said.

Rosen’s attorney Michelle Lipkowitz declined to comment on her client’s sentence Wednesday.

Rosen’s business partner Howard Hoffberg was sentenced to eight months in federal prison last year after pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate anti-kickback statutes in connection with a scheme to accept payments from a pharmaceutical company in exchange for prescribing a fentanyl-based drug.

William Soyke, a physician assistant at the practice, pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to distribute and dispense oxycodone, fentanyl, methadone and alprazolam, and was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison.

Baltimore Sun reporter Lee O. Sanderlin contributed to this article.


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