Our team includes nearly 100 trained individuals, including investigators, data analysts, former law enforcement officers, pharmacists, and compliance officers on site at our pharmaceutical distribution centers, in the field, and at our corporate headquarters. We operate in good faith and our goal is to get it right. We have stopped suspicious orders for the shipment of hundreds of millions of dosage units of controlled substances over the last decade.
We also do – and have always done – extensive reporting to the federal, state, and local regulators with authority over the closed supply chain, and over all registrants, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws. Our reporting to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) includes data on all orders, distributions, and suspicious orders, and on the identity of the receiving pharmacy. Suspicious orders include orders of unusual size, orders deviating substantially from a normal pattern, and orders of unusual frequency. Given the change in the practice of medicine resulting in substantially greater numbers of prescriptions for greater numbers of opioid pills, what constituted orders of unusual size, frequency, or pattern also changed.
Until very recently, Cardinal Health did not have access to the full set of data about the total shipment of opioid medicines any particular pharmacy received from other distributors. The DEA is the only entity to have had all of this information. We do not know, nor do we have any influence on, what government entities do with the reports we make. Distributors have no law enforcement power and cannot stop state-licensed physicians from writing prescriptions for medication, nor can they take unilateral action to block DEA- and state-licensed pharmacies’ ability to dispense medication.