Dublin-based healthcare giant Cardinal Health on Friday agreed to pay $44 million to settle multiple lawsuits regarding the distribution of various controlled substances.

Cardinal Health admitted that it failed to report large orders for powerful painkillers like oxycodone in 2011 and 2012. The company hit the $44 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ).

Kinray LLC., a New York-based subsidiary of Cardinal Health, also agreed to pay $10 million as part of the settlement.

Craig Morford, the company’s chief legal & compliance officer, claimed that the company remained committed to working with public as well as private partners to do their part and find solutions.

Confirming the settlement, Morford said, “These agreements allow us to move forward and continue to focus on working with all participants in addressing the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Cardinal Health is committed to working with both public and private partners to do our part and find solutions.”

Amid ruthlessly growing opioid epidemic, battling over-prescription of painkillers like oxycodone has become a priority for the U.S. law enforcement. Painkillers like oxycodone contain chemicals found in drugs like opium and heroin. Deaths from opioid abuse have skyrocketed across the nation in recent years.

– Caroline Robinson
NorCal.news

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The AAOS recommends the following tools, which have been shown to significantly reduce medication errors:

  • computerized physician order entry
  • computerized decision support systems
  • computerized monitoring of adverse drug events
  • pharmacist-assisted rounds
  • high-risk drug protocols

Overdose deaths are “just the tip of the iceberg”: that for every death there are many more hospital treatment admissions, emergency room visits, people who abuse or are dependent on prescription drugs and nonmedical users.

American Psychological Association

In 2012, both New York and Tennessee required prescribers to check their state’s PDMP before prescribing painkillers.

The results one year later:
New York realized a 75% drop and Tennessee a 36% drop in patients who were seeing multiple prescribers to obtain the same drugs.

PDMP [National] Center of Excellence at Brandeis U, 2014
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