Aug 9 AmerisourceBergen Corp said it
received subpoenas from U.S. prosecutors and the Drug
Enforcement Administration seeking information on how the
company monitors for potential diversions of drugs with high
potential for abuse.
The pharmaceutical wholesaler said in a regulatory filing
that one of its units received a subpoena in May from the U.S.
Attorney's Office in New Jersey in connection with a grand jury
proceeding and another from the DEA.
The subpoenas requested documents concerning a program for
controlling and monitoring diversion of controlled substances
into channels other than for legitimate medical, scientific, and
industrial purposes, the company said in the filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Documents concerning
specific customers' purchases of controlled substances were also
sought, the company said.
Federal and state authorities have been working to stem the
widespread abuse of prescription painkillers and other
controlled substances that many experts believe has reached
epidemic proportions in the United States, including
investigations of companies that distribute such medicines.
Amerisource rival Cardinal Health Inc earlier this
year agreed to suspend shipments of controlled substances from a
Florida distribution center for two years under a settlement
with federal prosecutors stemming from the crackdown on abuse of
prescription pain drugs, such as Vicodin and Oxycodone.
Amerisource declined to name the specific customers on
which federal investigators were seeking information, saying it
could not comment on the ongoing investigation. In the filing it
said its ABDC unit was in the process of responding to the
subpoenas and cooperating fully with the U.S. Attorney's office
and the DEA.
"Obviously we take diversion very seriously and will
continue to cooperate with the authorities," AmerisourceBergen
spokeswoman Barbara Brungess said.
"Our facilities are all operating normally and we are
shipping to customers as we normally do," she added.