Where Did Cardinal Get the Drugs?

By Freddie Pierce
The DEA is putting the full court press on Cardinal Health in the wake of the revelation that oxycodone was being improperly distributed at pharmacy lo...

The DEA is putting the full court press on Cardinal Health in the wake of the revelation that oxycodone was being improperly distributed at pharmacy locations in Florida.  Dramatically enough, last week federal agents raided and seized a large supply of the drug.  Further investigation revealed that the powerful sedative had been made available for cash, in large supply.  It was their number one seller.

Cardinal Health is being charged with endangering the public by knowingly resupplying the problem pharmacies, even when they exceeded usual rates of consumption by a wide margin.  It’s part of a larger pattern of oxycodone abuse by those not properly vetted for the drug.

As a result, in addition to the health risks run by illegal users, patients with a critical need for the drug have had to do without – further endangering the community serviced by Cardinal’s products.

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In the wake of these revelations, essential questions have to be asked about every aspect of this Fortune 500 Company’s supply chain.  Why was proper oversight for shipment not applied?  Is the border between manufacture and supply too porous?  Can the doctors who wrongfully prescribed the drug be taken to task and forced to reveal their connections to Cardinal’s influential lobby?

As harrowing and personal as the aftermath of this scandal has been for the community, fundamentally this is a failure of logistics.  It could and should have been prevented by responsible business practices, and we should see to it that they’re instituted in the future – especially among industry leaders with over a hundred billion in revenues.

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