A West Virginia judge has revealed terms of a settlement of a lawsuit filed against Dublin-based Cardinal Health, alleging it fed the Mountaineer state's opioid epidemic by failing to properly oversee and report significant increases in orders for prescription drugs.
Jim Letizia reports.
Cardinal will pay 20 million dollars to settle the lawsuit. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration records show Cardinal shipped 241 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to West Virginia between 2007 and 2012. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey recused himself from the lawsuit in 2013. His wife at the time lobbied for Cardinal Health in Washington. She resigned the account last year.This is the latest of several settlements Cardinal and other distributors have agreed to since the federal government broadened its fight against painkiller abuse.
In December, Cardinal agreed to a 44 million dollar settlement for failing to report large orders for painkillers in 2011 and 2012. The settlement resolved the outstanding civil penalty from a case Cardinal settled in 2012 with the DEA. That year, the company agreed to a two year suspension of its license to ship drugs from a Florida facility after the DEA said Cardinal improperly distributed prescription pain pills. In 2008, Cardinal settled with the DEA for 34 million dollars over allegations it failed to notify the agency about suspicious shipments of drugs to pharmacies that sold them online illegally.