An arrangement of prescription Oxycodone pills. Credit: Mark Lennihan | AP

A Hancock County physician has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges filed in Maryland alleging that he issued more than 316 painkiller prescriptions to a fictional patient.

Dr. Brandt Rice entered a plea of not guilty during an appearance at Montgomery County Circuit Court on Dec. 17 and is due for a pretrial hearing there on Friday. A trial date has been set for Feb. 25, according to the court’s database.

Rice faces charges in Maryland of obtaining prescription medications by fraud and altering or forging an order for goods, according to the database. He faces four counts on each charge.

[Maine doctor suspended after allegedly issuing hundreds of bogus painkiller prescriptions]

Rice’s attorney, Stephen Glassman, did not immediately respond to messages left on Thursday.

Rice was a family medicine specialist practicing in Blue Hill when the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine suspended his license in June in response to the Maryland charges, officials said.

The board’s own investigation in Maine found five violations of the state’s civil license standards. Those violations included fraudulent conduct, prescribing drugs for non-therapeutic purposes, and failure to cooperate with a board investigation, according to the board’s five-page suspension order.

[Read the Maine Board of Licensure investigation of Dr. Rice here]

Besides the 316 bogus Maryland prescriptions, the Maine board’s investigation alleges that Brandt purchased another 200 prescriptions for a bogus patient at Maine pharmacies from June 2014 to December 2017, for oxycodone and other painkillers, according to the order.

Pharmacists in Blue Hill allegedly confirmed delivering prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone to Rice on behalf of a bogus patient, with Rice again collecting and paying for the drugs himself, according to the order.

Neither the Maryland criminal case nor the board’s civil investigation say what Brandt did with the medications he allegedly acquired through fraud.

It was unclear whether Brandt would face criminal action as a result of the board’s investigation. Board members did not return messages left on Thursday.