DUBLIN, Ohio—For the second time in just over a week, Cardinal Health announced that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has suspended its license to distribute controlled substances from one of its distribution facilities; in this case, the operations in Lakeland, Fla. In late November, the DEA enacted a similar suspension for infractions at Cardinal's Auburn, Wash. facility. Among other reasons for the Auburn shut down, the DEA cited the sale of hydrocodone to a pharmacy dispensing excessive amounts of the drug via bogus Internet prescriptions.
"Anything less than best-in-class controls for the pharmaceutical supply chain is unacceptable," says Cardinal Chair and CEO R. Kerry Clark in the latest announcement. "We will do what it takes to address this execution issue with changes to our processes and systems. The security of the pharmaceutical supply chain is core to our business and we are committed to the highest standards as we work with the DEA to resolve this matter."
The company continues to make arrangements for the distribution of the controlled substances from elsewhere within its network of 25 pharmaceutical distribution centers, and is reviewing its procedures to introduce near- and long-term enhancements that hopefully will safeguard against similar problems in the future.