Florida health officials warn of potential drug shortages following McKesson suspension

The Florida Department of Health on Friday sent an email to pharmacists warning them of potential prescription drug shortages in the state due to recent sanctions taken against the wholesale drug distributor McKesson Corp., reports Pain News Network.

The email comes after San Francisco-based McKesson last week agreed to pay $150 million as part of a Controlled Substances Act civil penalty settlement to resolve allegations it failed to report suspicious orders of painkillers. As part of the settlement, McKesson suspended sales of controlled substances from wholesale distribution centers in Colorado, Ohio, Michigan and Florida.

"The DEA recently suspended McKesson Corporation's sales of controlled substances from distribution in Florida. This suspension could impact your patients' ability to fill their prescriptions and you may want to advise them about the potential implications," the Florida health department wrote in Friday's email. "As a practitioner, you should be aware of the possibility of drug shortages and consider alternative treatment options when prescribing controlled substances."

The health department sent out a second email, about six hours later, clarifying the suspension will affect one distribution center in Florida and involves only the handling of hydromorphone.

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