Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cardinal Health In Trouble

Story first appeared in USA Today.

The DEA suspended Cardinal Health, the country's second-largest drug distributor, from selling and shipping powerful painkillers and other drugs from its Lakeland, Fla., facility for two years as part of a settlement reached Tuesday.

The Drug Enforcement Administration sought to revoke Cardinal's license in February, accusing the company of selling excessive amounts — more than 12 million oxycodone pain pills — to four Florida pharmacies over three years. The DEA said the company did not report suspicious orders or visit the chain pharmacies that purchased large amounts of the drugs.

The DEA also suspended controlled substances licenses for two CVS pharmacies in Sanford, Fla., which purchased millions of oxycodone pills from Cardinal. A judge is expected to rule on the CVS case this month.

Cardinal Health is not above the law. With this agreement, it admits that it neglected its vital responsibility to prevent the diversion of controlled substance medications.

While the agreement resolves the licensing issue, the DEA said it may pursue civil penalties, including fines, against the company. The Dublin, Ohio-based company had revenue of more than $100 billion in 2011.

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