Third-Largest U.S. Drug Distributor Subpoenaed in Painkiller Diversion Inquiry

Amerisource Bergen, the third-largest drug distributor in the United States, received subpoenas from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and federal prosecutors seeking information on how the company monitors for possible diversions of opioids and other drugs with high potential for abuse.

Bloomberg News reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey and the DEA asked a unit of the company how it keeps controlled substance away from inappropriate users. Officials also sought documents concerning specific customers’ purchases of controlled substances, according to Reuters.

The company said it is cooperating fully with the authorities. Spokeswoman Barbara Brungess said their facilities are operating normally, and they are continuing to ship to customers.

Earlier this year, drug distributor Cardinal Health agreed to suspend shipments of controlled substances from a warehouse in Florida for two years, under an agreement with the DEA. The DEA had charged Cardinal and four pharmacies with violating their licenses to sell controlled drugs. The DEA said Cardinal had an unusually high number of shipments of controlled painkillers to the four pharmacies.

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