The DEA was recently compelled to take action against one of the top distributors of painkillers following years of disregarding the worrying rise of drug overdoses in the nation. A record high has recently been attained in the opioid epidemic, affecting the general populace.
This reprimand comes at a time when the country is facing a severe crisis on drugs. However, the actions taken to aid in controlling addictive medications have been deferred considerably.
The company's refusal to flag down a sizable quantity of pharmaceuticals that raised suspicions has prompted the authorities to act after several concerns were highlighted. Despite multiple inquiries from media outlets and agencies over the years, the government paid little attention to this matter. They now seem to be trying to quell the public's protests for a problem that should have been resolved years ago.
One of the top pharmaceutical businesses supplying painkillers in the nation is Morris & Dickson Co. Their medicines have been identified as containing several highly addictive compounds, of which the Drug Enforcement Agency was fully aware and permitted the widespread distribution for a very long time.
Because of their disdain for the safety of thousands of individuals who use their medicine, a judge had recommended the corporation be deprived of all rights to sell and distribute drugs several years prior to the current suspension of their license.
Given that the Enforcement Agency renders decisions within a period of two years, it is extraordinary that it has taken the administration more than four years to conclude the case against the corporation. They acknowledged the delay, claiming that it was "longer than typical for the agency," and laid blame on Morris & Dickson.co for prolonging the decision.
The covid outbreak and the company's continued pursuit of a resolution that the federal government claimed it had looked into have been presented as grounds for the delay by the company. Although the DEA has decided, the order won't take effect for another 90 days, giving the distributors plenty of opportunity to discuss settlement terms.
This has led to questions about how the government's relationship with these private corporations is affecting their ability to reprimand the companies that are not following the regulations enforced by the DEA. The agency broke its four-year silence when the American Press finally broached the topic requesting the office to comment on the matter.
The decision to revoke the distribution license of Morris & Dickson.co came abruptly after the AP did not withhold from questioning authorities about their ignorance towards the issue, according to inside sources. But the matter is yet to be finalized, so it looks like the company in question does not face any real consequences for its actions as of yet.
The principal deputy administrator of the enforcement agency, Louis Millione, has yet to make a statement on the matter. After 21 years of service, he retired in 2017, during his tenure he spent two years as head of the team that controls narcotics sales. Like many of his colleagues from the agency, he was recruited as a legal consultant by the same organizations he once regulated for the sale of drugs while in office.
In 2018 the company in question, Morris & Dickson.co, enlisted Millione as a consultant to continue its painkillers supply to the general public. This was done to ensure they could keep their registration after authorities noticed a suspicious number of vast amounts of orders on narcotic drugs.
When the case was brought to light at a federal court hearing, Millione testified that they had spared no expense in ensuring the company's compliance systems were up to date. However, the preceding judge Charles W. Dorman seemed dissatisfied with their efforts. He wrote a 59-page recommendation to have the company's license revoked as punishment for their "cavalier disregard" for the safety of the people.
The American Press recently brought the report to light after it got hold of the recommendation years after its issue. In it, Dorman mentions that "Acceptance of responsibility and evidence of remediation are not get-out-of-jail-free cards." By administering anything less than the most severe penalty, it would show other companies registered with the government that they would be acquitted just by acknowledging their transgressions and promising not to commit them again.
Anne Milgram, the current administrator of the DEA, mentioned that the pharmaceutical company refused to take responsibility for shipping a substantial amount of highly addictive drugs to different healthcare facilities between 2014 to 2018. The lack of remorse shown by the former president and total disregard for the public's welfare were also highlighted in the 68-page order issued by the agency.
The Louisiana-based company, established in 1840, issued a statement mentioning that the company has made efforts to reintegrate its compliance systems. They've also extended their gratitude to the DEA for delaying the issue of the final verdict, which has given the company time to "settle these old issues."
The statement read, "We remain confident we can achieve an outcome that safeguards the supply chain for all of our healthcare partners and the communities they serve. ... Business will continue as usual and orders will continue to go out on time." The pharmaceutical giant is holding out hope for a settlement, given how proactive their comments have been toward the final order given by the Drug Enforcement Agency.