McKesson distribution practices suspended in multiple states after alleged violations of CSA

By Mark Iandolo | Jan 31, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Department of Justice announced Jan. 17 that McKesson Corporation (McKesson), a pharmaceutical drug distributor in the United States, will pay $150 million in civil penalties after allegedly violating the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).


McKesson will also stop selling its controlled substances from Colorado, Ohio, Michigan and Florida-based distribution centers for multiple years. The suspension of these business practices represents one of the largest sanctions ever handed out to a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registered distributor.


According to the department, McKesson failed to design and implement an effective system for detecting “suspicious orders” of controlled substances. During a five-year period from 2008 to 2013, McKesson allegedly supplied an increasing amount of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills to pharmacies based in the United States. These types of pills have contributed to the nation’s growing opioid addiction and overdose epidemic.


Civil settlement negotiations were led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the District of Colorado and the Northern District of West Virginia, along with DEA Office of Chief Counsel and Diversion Control Division. The DEA’s Denver, Detroit and Miami field divisions, and its Washington Division Office first examined the case.

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