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McKesson Corporation Agrees to Pay More Than $13 Million to Settle Claims That It Failed to Report Suspicious Sales of Prescription Medications
Date:5/2/2008

WASHINGTON, May 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- McKesson Corp., one of the nation's largest distributors of pharmaceutical drugs, has agreed to settle allegations that it violated federal reporting provisions relating to its handling of certain prescription medications regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Under the agreement between the company and six U.S. Attorney's Offices, McKesson has agreed to pay $13,250,000 in civil penalties for alleged violations of its obligations under the Controlled Substances Act.

McKesson Corp., which operates 30 DEA-registered distribution facilities, failed to report to DEA suspicious sales of controlled substance pharmaceuticals it made to pharmacies that filled orders from illegal "Internet pharmacies" that sell drugs online to customers who do not have a legal prescription. McKesson also failed to report suspicious orders of controlled substances that it received from other pharmacies and clinics even though the orders were unusually large. Every DEA registrant is required to report to DEA any suspicious orders or the theft or significant loss of controlled substances.

"The abuse of prescription medications is a significant and growing problem, and there is an erroneous perception among our youth that the recreational use of these powerful medications is somehow safer than the abuse of illegal drugs such as cocaine, meth, and heroin," said Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip. "Today's settlement makes clear that the Department of Justice is committed to doing its part to curtail illegal access to these dangerous drugs."

Three McKesson distribution centers received and filled hundreds of suspicious orders placed by pharmacies participating in illicit Internet schemes, but failed to report the orders to DEA. They did so even after a Sept.1, 2005, meeting at which DEA officials met with and warned McKesson officials about excessive sales of their products to pharmacies filling i
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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