May 2, 2008 / 8:29 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-McKesson settles DEA "lifestyle drug" claims

LOS ANGELES, May 2 (Reuters) - Drug wholesaler McKesson Corp (MCK.N) said on Friday it reached administrative and civil settlements with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and six U.S. Attorneys’ Offices regarding the company’s distribution of so-called “lifestyle drugs.”

The drugs, especially narcotic pain reliever hydrocodone and anxiety drug alprazolam, have come under increased DEA scrutiny in recent months because of their potential for abuse. The agency had claimed that McKesson did not adequately report orders for the controlled substances.

The administrative settlement, which resolves all DEA claims against McKesson, calls for a temporary suspension of distribution of the two drugs from two of McKesson’s 31 distribution centers.

The company said customers will not be affected since they will continue to receive shipments of the two drugs from other nearby McKesson distribution centers.

In connection with the settlement, the company said it is implementing certain enhanced controls over the ways it monitors and reports orders for controlled substances.

The civil settlement with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices releases McKesson from related monetary claims in exchange for payments totaling $13.25 million.

McKesson said it does not anticipate any other material financial impact from the settlements. The company also denied any wrongdoing in connection with all of the settled matters. (Reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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