Pharmacies raided by agentsPublished 6:06am Saturday, August 11, 2012
Two local pharmacies re-opened Thursday, one day after being closed during a raid that involved officers from several federal and state offices.
About 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Drug Administration, Health and Human Services, the Alabama attorney general’s office and the Alabama Board of Pharmacy arrived at Franklin Health Mart Pharmacy, located just off U.S. 43 north of Taco Bell in Russellville, and Russellville Pharmacy in the Franklin Shopping Center.
Officers quickly began accessing both companies’ computers. Several hours later, agents were seen loading files and boxes into vehicles and on to at least one utility trailer.
At the time of the searches, agents were simultaneously searching Sheffield Specialty Pharmacy in the Shoals. Sheffield and Russellville Pharmacies are both owned by Rodney Logan. Franklin Health Mart Pharmacy is owned by Tim Aaron.
No arrests were made Wednesday and investigators hinted that evidence seized at the scene could take some time to comb through.
Officials did say the investigation was not related to the quality of the medications at the pharmacies and both were open Thursday.
Investigators have refused to comment, but acknowledged their roles in Wednesday’s raids.
Jeff Summer, a spokesman with the attorney general’s office, said Friday that the office could not comment on ongoing investigations.
Late Wednesday, Franklin Pharmacy released a statement through their attorneys, Burr & Forman LLP, who has offices throughout the Southeast.
“Representatives from various federal and Alabama agencies, including the FBI and the Alabama Attorney General’s office, conducted a search at Franklin Pharmacy in Russellville, Alabama on Wednesday, August 8, 2012,” the statement confirmed.
“Franklin Pharmacy and its employees are cooperating fully with these authorities in their investigation. Franklin Pharmacy looks forward to a prompt conclusion to this investigation. Until further notice, Franklin Pharmacy will have no further comment.”
Both pharmacies have compounding operations that have seen tremendous growth in the past two years. Franklin Health Mart Pharmacy employs close to 200 people and ships its compounding cream across the country.
Authorities Thursday said the investigation centers on the possibility that one or more of the pharmacies had overbilled insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid.