San Francisco drug distributor McKesson(MCK) - Get Report on Tuesday announced a settlement with the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency over the company's monitoring and distribution of questionable orders of prescription painkillers, its second such settlement.
McKesson agreed to pay a $150 million fine to end the investigation and will also halt sales of controlled substances from distribution centers in Colorado, Ohio, Michigan and Florida for an unspecified number of years.
The DOJ accused the company of not telling the DEA about suspicious orders of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills, the kinds of opioids involved in the ongoing opioid epidemic. McKesson in 2008 already paid a $13.5 million fine for similar behavior.
"The government's investigation developed evidence that even after designing a compliance program after the 2008 settlement, McKesson did not fully implement or adhere to its own program," the DOJ said in a statement.
The fine is the largest-ever of its kind and the settlement includes five years of heightened compliance terms. The company will also hire an independent monitor, the first time such a watchdog has been used in conjunction with a DOJ settlement.
McKesson said the investigation was focused on 2009 reporting practices, which were updated and changed in 2013. The company already disclosed the pending settlement with government agencies in April.
"We are committed to tackling this multifaceted problem in collaboration with all parties in the supply chain that share the responsibility for the distribution of opioid medications," McKesson chairman and CEO John Hammergren said in a statement.
In its release, the company labeled the heightened scrutiny as a "partnership."
The company's stock added $1.36 Tuesday to $148.43. It has a market cap of $34 billion.