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McKesson To Pay $150 Mil Settlement Over Suspicious Orders

A pharmaceutical distribution company with Arizona ties has agreed to the largest fine in the history of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The McKesson Corporation will pay $150 million in penalties and suspend sales at distribution centers in four states.

The U.S. Department of Justice claims McKesson failed to report suspicious orders of controlled substances, including oxycodone.

The San Francisco-based company agreed to pay a penalty and follow a compliance program in 2008, but failed to do so until 2013.

Now it will face the most severe sanctions the DEA has ever imposed on a registered distributor, including suspension of sales from centers in Colorado, Ohio, Michigan and Florida.

McKesson employs about 1,400 people in Arizona and announced in September it would expand its Valley operations. The company is building a 271,000-square-foot complex on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community near Scottsdale. The company describes that facility as a regional operations center.

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Al Macias, former KJZZ news director, is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.