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Ashland Doctor Facing Drug Charges

ASHLAND — A doctor in Schuylkill County is facing charges for allegedly prescribing large quantities of painkillers to people, and in one case, it turned deadly.

Stephanie Tarapchak is an Ashland doctor who lost her license to practice medicine in 2012.   That has led to her arrest by the state attorney general.

She’s accused of unlawfully prescribing pain killers like oxycodone that led to overdoses and one death. Prosecutors say she prescribed drugs without a physical exam, dispensed drugs to herself and her family, and even smuggled drugs into the Lackawanna County Prison.

Investigators say the 13 felony charges were centered in her Ashland office, where she also lived.

“Dr. Tarapchak, I hope you rot in hell for what you did to my brother!” said Barbara Kromer.

Investigators say an overdose prescribed by Dr. Tarapchak killed Barbara Kromer’s brother Tom in June 2011.

“Why would she give him something that would hurt or kill him, why would she do that?” Kromer asked.

“She’s a damn good doctor. I don’t think she did that! Honest, I don’t believe she could have done that!” said Doris Machuzah.

Machuzah is Dr. Tarapchak’s mother.  She doesn’t believe the allegations against her daughter.

“She writes a prescription and he walks out the door and Take them all and die, what was she supposed to do? Somebody please answer me that.”

“I cry every single day over my brother,” said Kromer.

Although the doctor’s office is in Ashland, Schuylkill County and the state attorney general’s office is involved, she’ll be prosecuted in Lackawanna County court.



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