Medical products company Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio, has agreed to pay $34 million in civil penalties to settle allegations that it failed to report suspicious orders made by Internet pharmacies for the opioid hydrocodone, which were diverted for illegal use, according to a news release.
As a part of the settlement, Cardinal admits no wrongdoing but will pay various sums to seven U.S. attorneys offices to settle the charges. The agreement follows the closure of three of Cardinals drug distribution centers in November 2007 and an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the companys order-filling activities. The settlement will allow Cardinal to reinstate distribution from those centers, which are located in Auburn, Wash., Lakeland, Fla. and Swedesboro, N.J.
We settled this matter so that we could quickly resume the distribution of these vital medicines to our valued customers, and we will continue to work with the DEA and other supply-chain partners to take all necessary steps to keep these powerful drugs out of the wrong hands, said Cardinal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer R. Kerry Clark in a statement.
A $16 million payment will be distributed to the Middle District of Florida; $8 million to the Southern District of Texas; $3.5 million to the Western District of Washington; $3 million to the District of New Jersey; $1.5 million to the Northern District of Georgia; $1 million to the Central District of California; and $1 million to the District of Colorado, according to a news release. -- by Shawn Rhea