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DOJ sues major drug company for illegally helping ‘ignite an opioid epidemic’

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The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Thursday against one of the nation’s largest drug distributors, accusing the company of “for years of ignoring its legal obligations and putting profit before the well-being of the American people.” claimed to have failed to report the suspected order for the controlled substance. Fentinal and oxycodone were sold illegally, fueling a devastating opioid epidemic.

In the civil lawsuit, DOJ alleges that over nearly a decade, from 2014 to the present, AmerisourceBergen Corporation and two of its subsidiaries failed to report at least hundreds of cases to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), violating the Controlled Substances Act. claim. Thousands of questionable orders for controlled substances mandated by law.

The lawsuit alleges that the company knowingly filled and failed to report a large number of orders for prescription opioids from pharmacies, which were then sold on the illegal market.

Attorney General Vanita Gupta said: “The Department of Justice is committed to holding those who defy the law and contribute to the opioid crisis to account.

The Department of Justice lawsuit alleges that AmerisourceBergen knowingly processed and failed to report numerous orders from pharmacies for pharmaceutical opioids that were then sold on the illegal market.

The Department of Justice lawsuit alleges that AmerisourceBergen knowingly processed and failed to report numerous orders from pharmacies for pharmaceutical opioids that were then sold on the illegal market.

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“Companies that sell opioids are required to report suspicious orders to federal law enforcement agencies. I claim I didn’t,” she said.

The government complaint identifies multiple pharmacies that AmerisourceBergen allegedly recognized significant “red flags” suggesting the existence of diversion of prescription drugs to the illicit market. The company has been distributing drugs to pharmacies for years and reports few questionable orders.DEA.

The lawsuit cites five instances, including two pharmacies in Florida and West Virginia, where AmerisourceBergen knew the drugs it distributed were likely sold for cash in parking lots.

Attorney General Vanita Gupta said: “The Department of Justice is committed to holding those who defied the law and contributed to the opioid crisis to account.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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The complaint also states that a Colorado pharmacy, which AmerisourceBergen knew to be the largest purchaser of oxycodone 30mg tablets in the entire state of Colorado, identified 11 patients as potential “drug addicts” and claimed their prescriptions. is likely illegal, but also mentions ignoring the red flags. Two of those patients subsequently died of overdoses, the complaint alleges.

AmerisourceBergen countered in a statement to Fox News Digital, saying DOJ “picked the best of” such examples among the tens of thousands of pharmacies that use AmerisourceBergen as a wholesaler, and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s I ignored the lack of action from the former manager.” Administration – DOJ’s own agency,” the company said.

“Even in these five select examples presented by the DOJ, AmerisourceBergen verifies DEA registration and state pharmacy licenses, conducts extensive due diligence on these customers, and complies with all regulatory requirements before fulfilling orders. All sales of the substance were reported to the DEA, and for all of these pharmacies, suspect controlled substance orders were sent to the DEA, hundreds of suspect orders in total.

“The sheer volume of information that AmerisourceBergen shared directly with the DEA regarding these five pharmacies has not yet seen the need for immediate action by the DEA. Enforcement measures must be taken while maintaining the registration of the company,” the company added.

The company also said a federal judge recently determined that AmerisourceBergen “has maintained a compliance diversion control program in accordance with the law for decades,” and the court’s ruling “addresses many of the same allegations made in this DOJ complaint.” , acknowledged the role of DEA in the controlled.” Using tools such as manufacturing quotas to distribute the substance, he ultimately concluded that AmerisourceBergen complied with the law. ”

Pharmaceutical distributors who sell controlled substances, including AmerisourceBergen, have a long-standing legal obligation to monitor orders they receive from pharmacies and other customers, and must notify the DEA whenever they receive suspicious orders.

“AmerisourceBergen, one of the world’s largest opioid wholesalers, had a legal obligation to report questionable orders to the DEA…and our complaint shows the company’s repeated failure to meet this simple obligation. , which they claim helped ignite the opioid epidemic, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths over the past decade,” said Ann Milgram, DEA administrator.

Pharmaceutical distributors who sell controlled substances, including AmerisourceBergen, have a legal obligation to monitor orders they receive from pharmacies and other customers and must notify the DEA whenever they receive suspicious orders.

Pharmaceutical distributors who sell controlled substances, including AmerisourceBergen, have a legal obligation to monitor orders they receive from pharmacies and other customers and must notify the DEA whenever they receive suspicious orders.
(via Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel, AP, File)

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If found responsible, AmerisourceBergen could face civil penalties ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 for each violation, depending on when each violation occurred and the type of controlled substance at issue. There is a nature.

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The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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