Feds clamp down on Cardinal's Lakeland center
Tampa Bay Business Journal - by Margie Manning
The suspension is effective Monday, Cardinal said in a release. The company is making arrangement to distribute controlled substances to affected customers from other facilities in its network, the release said.
The Lakeland center, which employs about 300 people, will remain open and other medications can continue to be distributed from the center, said Jim Mazzola, a spokesman for Cardinal.
The suspension followed an assertion by the DEA that Cardinal didn't have effective controls against the diversion of hydrocodone, commonly known as Vicodin, Mazzola said. The DEA contended that Cardinal distributed the product to retail pharmacies that allegedly did not use the drug for legal purposes, he said.
Cardinal will work with the DEA to resolve the matter, Mazzola said. The company has been reviewing its controlled substance procedures, and as a result is implementing near- and long-term enhancements that further guard against distribution to pharmacies engaged in diversion, it said in the release.
A request for comment from the DEA is pending.
On Nov. 29, the DEA took a separate action against Cardinal, suspending the federal controlled substance registration of its Auburn, Wash., branch, according to a release on the DEA's Web site. In that case, Cardinal was accused of selling large quantities of hydrocodone to Horen's Drug Store, which the DEA said dispensed controlled substances based on prescriptions written for other than legitimate medical purposes.