The head of the Columbus-based company targeted over its widespread distribution of opioid painkillers says it plans to vigorously defend itself against a series of lawsuits filed by communities and states.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Health CEO George Barrett says the company has set up monitoring it thinks exceeds government and industry standards to try to catch pill mills and other signs of misuse. And he told investors in an earnings call this morning that Cardinal is working with law enforcement and educators.
“The search for blame is the enemy of the search for solutions. It’s something I say often in our organization but it is especially true in a complex situation like this. What we really need is for all of the stakeholder to work cooperatively and openly.”
He said the efforts will focus especially in the hard-hit Appalachia region.
Cardinal Health recently agreed to pay a $44 million civil settlement with the DEA over claims it ignored warnings about pharmacies getting massive and suspicious quantities of OxyContin. A U.S. House committee is also investigating the role of Cardinal and two other wholesale distributors in the crisis that has claimed 180,000 lives over a decade.