Feds Charge Drug Distributor For Fueling Opioid Epidemic

April 23, 2019 - 3:37 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The federal government on Tuesday announced charges against a drug distribution company, alleging it helped to fuel the opioid epidemic.

As WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reports, drug distribution companies have the obligation to report any suspicious orders they get from pharmacies. However, U.S. Attorney Geoff Berman said time and time again, Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc. (RDC) did not report those orders and continued to fulfill them.

“Today, we announce the first ever trafficking charges against a pharmaceutical company,” Berman announced in Manhattan.

The more orders that the RDC fulfilled resulted in larger paychecks for former CEO Laurence Doud, Burns reports.

“As alleged, Doud cared more about profits than the laws intended to protect human life,” Berman said.

From 2012 to 2016, the attorney says RDC flagged more than 8,000 orders as being suspicious. Just four of them were reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The company, Berman says, has now admitted its wrongdoing.

“RDC has agreed to pay a substantial penalty, be supervised by a monitor and make significant reforms to its compliance program,” he said.

Doud will continue to face charges and was expected to surrender to the DEA on Tuesday.

The 75-year-old could spend the rest of his life in prison.