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McKesson Corporation has reached an agreement to pay $13.25 million in civil and administrative settlements with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and six U.S. Attorneys for failing to report sales of certain drugs to on-line pharmacies.


Did you ever wonder how illegal on-line pharmacies are able to obtain the drugs they sell to customers without a legal prescription? The answer is simple…they buy them from the drug manufacturers just like your regular corner drug store.


The problem is the drug manufacturers are violating the Controlled Substances Act by failing to report to the DEA any suspicious sales which include orders that are unusually large, unusually frequent, and/or deviated substantially from the normal pattern. By failing to report the sales to the on-line pharmacies, drug manufacturers are not only violating the Controlled Substances Act they are also contributing to the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.


“The abuse of prescription medications is a significant and growing problem, and there is an erroneous perception among our youth that the recreational use of these powerful medications is somehow safer than the abuse of illegal drugs such as cocaine, meth, and heroin,” said Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip. “Today’s settlement makes clear that the Department of Justice is committed to doing its part to curtail illegal access to these dangerous drugs.”


My question is what would motivate a drug manufacturer to report an upsurge in their sales? The money is pouring in, so why would they do anything to jeopardize this influx of revenue? The drug companies have no reason to comply until it hits them in the pocketbook and I suspect that while this $13.25 million dollar settlement stung a little, it was probably just a drop in the bucket compared to the profit they made before they got caught.

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