A Wyoming County dentist accused of improperly prescribing medications to an Olyphant woman wants the charges against him dismissed.
Dr. Christopher G. Bereznak, who lives in Clarks Green but has dental offices in Tunkhannock, contends one of the medications investigators say he prescribed to Ashley Gammon in 2016 was not a controlled drug under Pennsylvania law at the time she filled the prescriptions.
A hearing scheduled Monday before Lackawanna County President Judge Michael J. Barrasse on Bereznak’s motion to dismiss all charges in the case was continued at the request of the prosecution. The hearing is expected to be rescheduled before the end of the year.
Bereznak was arrested in August and charged with seven counts of prohibited delivery of a controlled substance by a practitioner and five counts of criminal use of a communication facility.
Investigators accused him of writing seven prescriptions for Gammon that she filled at pharmacies in Olyphant and Dunmore in June and July 2016. Five were for carisoprodol, a muscle relaxer, and the other two for oxycodone and diazepam.
At the time, Bereznak and Gammon were romantically involved and did not have a normal doctor-patient relationship, investigators alleged.
In the motion to dismiss filed by his attorney, Lawrence J. Kansky, Bereznak maintained carisoprodol — the drug involved in five of the seven delivery counts and all five counts of the second charge — was not listed as a controlled substance in the commonwealth during the period when the alleged crimes took place.
Although carisoprodol has been on the federal list of controlled substances since 2012, Pennsylvania did not add the medication to its schedule of controlled drugs until Aug. 8, 2016, the motion said.
The two remaining counts involve a prescription for three pills of diazepam and a prescription for 10 pills of Percocet, the motion said.
Both dosages are “well within the prescribing limits” for a patient suffering from a broken tooth and temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, a jaw joint problem, it said.
Gammon died in July 2016, but investigators have said her death was unrelated to medications prescribed by Bereznak.