Cardinal Health said it has agreed to pay $44 million to the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the settlement. The DOJ — including the DEA and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the M.D. Florida, the Southern District of New York, the District of Maryland, the W.D. Washington and other districts across the country — have agreed to take no further administrative or civil action on these and related matters, according to the company.
The civil fines claims and a related accrual of $44 million were previously disclosed by Cardinal in its public securities filings.
Cardinal’s 2012 settlement with the DEA resulted in a two-year suspension of company’s registration to distribute controlled substances from its Lakeland, Fla., distribution center, but didn’t resolve the government’s civil penalty claims.
“These agreements allow us to move forward and continue to focus on working with all participants in addressing the epidemic of prescription drug abuse,” Craig Morford, chief legal and compliance officer at Cardinal Health, said in a statement.
Cardinal noted that it employs a large organization for maintaining and improving a sophisticated anti-diversion program, which includes advanced analytics, technology and teams of anti-diversion specialists and investigators deployed within its supply chain. The company also sponsors and leads efforts for drug abuse education and prevention, including its Generation Rx program, which has reached more than 600,000 people nationwide.
“To combat the scourge of opioid abuse successfully, this must be a collaborative effort that includes all parties — the regulators, who set and license supply; the manufacturers, who produce medications; the physicians, who treat patients and prescribe medications; and the pharmacists, who fill those prescriptions,” Morford added. “Collectively, we must focus on combatting the ever-changing tactics employed by those determined to divert medications for illegitimate use. Cardinal Health is committed to working with both public and private partners to do our part and find solutions.”