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Federal court upholds DEA action against Cardinal Health

Cardinal plans to appeal decision

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal court has turned down Cardinal Health's request for an injunction against the Drug Enforcement Administration's suspension of the its ability to ship controlled medications from one of its distribution centers, the company said Wednesday.

Reggie Walton, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled against Cardinal's request to enjoin the DEA from preventing the company from shipping controlled substances from the distribution center, in Lakeland, Fla.

Cardinal said it planned to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"We have demonstrated a deep commitment to helping fight prescription drug abuse," a statement from Cardinal read. "We work hard to actively prevent drug diversion and have spent millions of dollars to build a system of advanced analytics and on anti-diversion specialists. We have stopped distribution to hundreds of pharmacies determined to pose an unreasonable risk of diversion. The majority of those pharmacies still maintain their DEA registrations to dispense controlled medicines."

The DEA suspended the Lakeland distribution center's registration to distribute controlled substances earlier this month, alleging that four of the 2,500 retail pharmacies it serves dispensed prescriptions for them illegally and that the company failed to ensure that the drugs were not diverted, though Cardinal said the allegations were wrong.


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