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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

llegal online prescriptions. The pharmacies filled purported online "prescriptions" for hydrocodone (contained in drugs such as Vicodin), but the prescriptions were issued outside the normal course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. The United States Attorneys allege that the orders that McKesson received from these pharmacies were unusually large, unusually frequent, and/or deviated substantially from the normal pattern. As a result, millions of dosage units of controlled substances were diverted from legitimate channels of distribution.

"By failing to report suspicious orders for controlled substances that it received from rogue Internet pharmacies, the McKesson Corporation fueled the explosive prescription drug abuse problem we have in this country," said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. "This civil penalty demonstrates the strong action DEA is taking to cut off the drug supply to pharmacies engaged in Internet diversion schemes."

The Controlled Substances Act is the primary federal law regulating the flow of controlled substances into the marketplace for medical purposes. Among other requirements, the Act requires that distributors register with DEA to sell controlled substances to retail pharmacies and report to DEA suspicious orders or the theft or significant loss of controlled substances. The Act authorizes the imposition of up to a $10,000 civil penalty for each violation of the reporting requirement.

The civil penalty will be collected by the U.S. Attorney's Office in each of the following districts, in the amounts indicated:

Middle District of Florida $7,456,000

District of Maryland $2,000,000

District of Colorado $1,000,000

Southern District of Texas $2,000,000

District of Utah $ 544,000

Eastern District of California $ 250,000

The settlement agreement is neither an admission of liability by McKesson nor a concession by the United
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
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