Prescription drug abuse has become a legitimate epidemic in our country. More people than ever before in our history are using prescription painkiller drugs recreationally, usually with terrible consequences. Keeping track of where these pills are being manufactured is becoming a very important part of trying to control this new and dangerous problem. One of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical distribution company is Cardinal Health. Recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) found that Cardinal Health has been making large, suspicious shipments of prescription drugs to a state that has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse, Florida.
It should be noted that the DEA did not, officially, charge Cardinal Health with any wrongdoing. However, it is suspicious that one of the country’s largest suppliers of prescription drugs agreed to a two year ban on prescription drug shipments from their facility. The DEA instigated this penalty because it was discovered that large shipments of Oxycontin, one of the most dangerous and addictive prescription drugs, was being sent to local pharmacies in the Orlando area.
This was not the first time that Cardinal Health had been warned about making shipments of Oxycontin. In February, the DEA shuttered another of Cardinal Health’s facilities in Lakeland, Florida. This was in response to an investigation that found Cardinal Health to be illegally supplying small pharmacies with large amounts of powerful prescription drugs. For this claim, Cardinal Health went to court. They lost. They were found, by the court, to be “failing to prevent illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals.”
In 2008, Cardinal Health was required to pay a $34 million fine for not informing officials at the Drug Enforcement Agency that they were filling and shipping oddly large orders of hydrocodone around the central Florida area. Hydrocodone is the main ingredient in Vicodin, which is another commonly used, powerful prescription pain killer. By agreeing to pay the fine, Cardinal Health was able to skirt any further sanctions, and they were allowed to continue to go about their business.
It is important that our Government continue to stay on top of these manufacturers. They make so much money that it is difficult for them to be convinced to turn down large orders of prescription pills, even if the buyer is somewhat suspect. Distribution companies, like Cardinal Health, need to be held accountable for where their products end up. Too often, these powerful drugs are finding their way into the hands of individuals who have no legitimate health reason to use them. By closely monitoring where shipments of drugs are going, we should be able to start to curb the number of people who use prescription pills recreationally to get high. If you or someone you know has developed an addiction to prescription pills, it is important that they look into help at a drug treatment program.Tags: Addiction, DEA, Florida, hydrocone, Oxycontin, pill mills, prescription drug abuse, prescription drug addiction, vicodin