Settling a government lawsuit charging that it improperly distributed large volumes of oxycodone, Cardinal Health Inc. has agreed to a two-year suspension of its Lakeland, Fla., distribution center’s registration to ship controlled substances.


Cardinal Health, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, controlled substances, oxycodone, CVS/pharmacy, Lakeland, George Barrett, Sanford, Fla., misuse of prescription drugs, Geoff Walden


















































































































































































































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Cardinal, DEA reach settlement

June 11th, 2012

DUBLIN, Ohio – Settling a government lawsuit charging that it improperly distributed large volumes of oxycodone, Cardinal Health Inc. has agreed to a two-year suspension of its Lakeland, Fla., distribution center’s registration to ship controlled substances.

The settlement includes an agreement by Cardinal to improve certain anti-diversion procedures.

“This agreement allows us to put this matter behind us and, just as important, will clear the way for a more productive dialogue about how we and others in the health care and regulatory community can work together to prevent the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs,” said Cardinal chairman and chief executive officer George Barrett.

In early February the Drug Enforcement Administration issued immediate suspension orders (ISOs) to the Lakeland warehouse and four of its customers, including two CVS/pharmacy stores in Sanford, Fla. The ISOs alleged that Cardinal knew or should have known that the pharmacies were filling prescriptions for nonmedical reasons, citing high volumes of oxycodone shipments.

The agency reported that the pharmacies were filling prescriptions “far in excess of the legitimate needs of its ­customers.”

According to the DEA, the two CVS stores — located about 5.5 miles apart — together ordered more than 3 million dosage units of oxycodone during the same year, whereas pharmacies throughout the United States ordered roughly 69,000 units on average in 2011.

DEA litigation with CVS Caremark is ongoing.

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