Pharmacy Fights to Stay Open Despite Ex-Owner's Drug Conspiracy Conviction

An Iowa pharmacy is fighting to stay open while its former owner faces a drug conspiracy conviction.

An Iowa pharmacy is fighting to stay open while its former owner faces a drug conspiracy conviction.

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy and federal prosecutors claim Mark Graziano, of Bauder’s Pharmacy, diverted narcotics and sold them to a friend who then distributed the pills to drug abusers, according to The Des Moines Register.

Back in 2012, more than 700,000 hydrocodone pills were discovered missing. Although Graziano denied the accusations, the owner’s license was revoked and the pharmacy’s license had restrictions placed on it.

A deal between Bauder’s Pharmacy and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy stipulated that Graziano’s majority ownership be transferred to co-owner Kim Robertson, who is Graziano’s sister, The Des Moines Register reported. However, the board now states that Robertson has failed to uphold certain terms of the deal. For example, the pharmacy did not create barriers to keep Graziano away from entering the pharmacy area.

In response to Robertson’s alleged failings to keep her side of the bargain, the board said last month that it would prevent Bauder’s Pharmacy from renewing its license. On January 5, 2015, The Des Moines Register reported that the board has postponed the hearing related to the pharmacy’s license.

The Des Moines Register also reported that Robertson’s lawyers stated that she is working on fully complying with the board’s orders.

While a US attorney stated that his office considered Robertson a victim in this situation due to her brother’s manipulation, the board disagreed. Robertson allegedly signed invoices for roughly 121,000 hydrocodone tablets in a 1-year span—an amount the board argued is almost 100,000 more than the pharmacy dispensed legally within that time period, according to The Des Moines Register.

Graziano pleaded guilty to 2 federal felonies and is expected to be sentenced to federal prison in February.