The Justice Department on Thursday filed a civil lawsuit against AmerisourceBergen Corp., one of the largest drug distributors in the country, alleging that it failed to report “at least hundreds of thousands” suspicious opioid orders to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, pharmaceutical distributors must monitor the orders they receive for controlled substances, and are required to flag any they deem suspicious to the DEA. According to the filing, AmerisourceBergen repeatedly failed to do so since 2014, despite being made aware of significant “red flags” at pharmacies across the country.
“In the midst of a catastrophic opioid epidemic AmerisourceBergen allegedly altered its internal systems in a way that reduced the number of orders that would be flagged as suspicious. And even up to the orders that AmerisourceBergen identified as suspicious, the company routinely failed to report those suspicious orders,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said during a call with members of the media on Thursday. “In short, the government’s complaint alleges that for years AmerisourceBergen prioritized profits over its legal obligations and over Americans’ well-being.”