Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced today a settlement with pharmaceutical distributor Morris & Dickson Co., LLC. The company allegedly failed to report thousands of unusually large orders of oxycodone and hydrocodone, violating drug diversion control regulations.
As part of the settlement, Morris & Dickson will:
- Surrender one of their two DEA registration licenses.
- Pay a $19 million fine.
- Maintain a stricter compliance program for five years.
- Comply with heightened reporting requirements related to suspicious orders.
The DEA found “egregious failures” by Morris & Dickson in their responsibility to monitor and report suspicious orders of controlled substances. The company allegedly failed to have an adequate system in place, leading them to miss out on “potentially thousands” of suspicious orders between 2014 and 2018.
“Drug distributors like Morris & Dickson have a responsibility to protect public health and prevent the diversion of addictive drugs,” said DEA spokesperson Katherine Pfaff. “They failed to uphold that responsibility, contributing to the opioid crisis. This settlement ensures such irresponsible practices will not continue.”
The Controlled Substances Act requires distributors to have systems in place to detect and report suspicious orders. Morris & Dickson admitted to failing to:
- Perform proper due diligence on suspicious orders.
- Implement an effective suspicious order monitoring system.
- Investigate and report red flags associated with specific orders.
The DEA previously proposed revoking both of Morris & Dickson’s registration licenses. This settlement allows them to keep one license while implementing stricter compliance measures.