- McKesson Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. government $150 million to settle allegations that it failed to report suspicious orders of controlled substances, the Fortune 500 healthcare services and IT company announced Tuesday.
- The settlement, which requires the company to suspend sales of controlled substances from distribution centers in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio on a staggered basis for several years, is the largest ever for violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
- The settlement also requires McKesson to hire an independent compliance monitor — the first of its kind in a CSA civil penalty settlement, the DOJ said.
McKesson also announced on Tuesday it is closing its distribution facility in La Crosse, Wisconsin and laying off 67 workers, WQOW reports. However, the company has agreed to step up its compliance program over the next five years. Included in that will be staffing and organizational improvements, periodic auditing, and specified financial penalties for failing to meet the compliance terms.
This isn’t the first time McKesson has settled with the government for alleged CSA violations. In 2008, the company paid $13.25 million for similar charges. According to DOJ, McKesson failed to sully implement a compliance program stemming from that case while supplying U.S. pharmacies with increasing amounts of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills.
From June 2008 through May 2013, for example, McKesson processed more than 1.6 million orders for controlled substances in Colorado, but only reported 16 as suspicious. Excessive use of oxycodone and hydrocodone is central to the current opioid epidemic in the U.S.