Feds: McKesson Agrees to Pay $150M in Pill Shipment Case
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say McKesson Corp. has agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations that the drug wholesaler failed to detect and report pharmacies’ suspicious orders of prescription pain pills.
The U.S. Justice Department and the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Carlton S. Shier, announced the settlement in a news release Tuesday.
The settlement resolves the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky’s and DEA London Resident Office Diversion Group’s joint investigation of McKesson’s Washington Courthouse, Ohio Distribution Center, which distributed pharmaceutical drugs to pharmacies in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.
“McKesson’s failure to report suspicious orders fueled the opioid epidemic in eastern Kentucky,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Shier. “Opioid abuse has devastated our community, and the investigation of drug distributors, like McKesson, is one aspect of the United States’s multifaceted fight against this epidemic.”
The settlement commits San Francisco-based McKesson to a multi-year suspension of sales of controlled substances from distribution centers in Colorado, Ohio, Michigan and Florida. It also imposes new and enhanced compliance requirements on McKesson’s distribution system.
In a statement Tuesday, Chairman and CEO John H. Hammergren said McKesson is “committed to tackling this multi-faceted problem in collaboration with all parties in the (prescription drug) supply chain.”
In 2008, McKesson agreed to a $13.25 million civil penalty for similar violations.