Behind every dosage unit of prescription opioids available for use by a consumer is a prescription
that was issued for its use by a state-licensed medical professional and filled by a state-licensed
pharmacy. As a pharmaceutical wholesale distributor, Cardinal Health’s role in the pharmaceutical supply chain is to ship FDA-approved medications from manufacturers in order to fill orders from our licensed pharmacy customers, who dispense the medications as prescribed by doctors. We are proud of the rigorous, constantly adaptive program we use to spot, stop and report to regulators orders that are deemed suspicious.
Like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which until 2014 steadily increased allowed production quotas for opioids based on what they determined was the nation’s legitimate medical need, wholesale pharmaceutical distributors were affected by the change in the practice of medicine starting in the late 1990s. Our pharmacy customers ordered more opioids from us to keep up with demand driven by more patients getting more prescriptions from doctors for more pills.