Columbus Clinic raids disrupt local drug distribution

May 22, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

A Columbus pain clinic a local anti-illegal prescription drug activist said was a major supplier of drugs to Scioto County, has been raided.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that multiple federal search warrants were served Wednesday morning in connection with an ongoing prescription drug abuse investigation in central Ohio.

Authorities with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) assisted multiple agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Tactical Diversion Squad, in serving the federal search warrants at Pharma 1 Pharmacy, 1763 South High Street, Columbus Southern Medical Clinic, 2912 South High Street, and Drug Store Pharmacy, 2940 Groveport Rd., all in Columbus.

“The infamous Pain Clinic on South High Street in Columbus as well as their Pharmacy next door have been raided by Ohio authorities,” Portsmouth City Health Department Nurse Lisa Roberts said in a Facebook posting Wednesday. “This legendary place has been a major supplier for southern Ohio and Scioto County. Great job all involved.”

Authorities began investigating the three locations after receiving a tip from a community member. DeWine said those with information regarding the improper sale or prescribing of prescription drugs should call 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446).

“After a lengthy investigation, we have reason to believe that some people at these locations were involved with the improper prescribing or distribution of pharmaceutical drugs,” DeWine said. “Although we have come a long way in combating this problem statewide, prescription drug abuse still happens and we need everyone’s help to fight it.”

Upon taking office in 2011, DeWine made the fight against prescription drug abuse a priority. DeWine was personally involved in coming to Scioto County and shutting down the pain clinics which went from 11 to zero during that time period. In that time, those with the Attorney General’s Office have been involved in the permanent license revocation of more than two dozen doctors and pharmacists who improperly prescribed prescription medication, the conviction of 13 doctors, pharmacists, traffickers and associates, and the seizure of more than $1.67 million worth of prescription pills.

Additional agencies involved in the execution of Wednesday’s search warrants include the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, Columbus Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Licking County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Unit, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy, State Medical Board of Ohio, and Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

DeWine said no arrests have been made.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.