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At McKesson, we take our role in helping to protect the safety and integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain extremely seriously.

On December 16, 2018, 60 Minutes aired a segment profiling the plaintiff lawyers who are leading the lawsuits against the companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids. We were disappointed that 60 Minutes chose to present a one-sided story, which uncritically repeated the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ charges without any challenge. We encourage you to visit our 60 Minutes Response page, where we’ve prepared a short Q&A to address several misconceptions about the opioid epidemic, the role distributors play in the industry, and what McKesson is doing to help address the crisis.

As a company, we are deeply concerned by the impact the opioid epidemic is having on families and communities across our nation—and we’re committed to being part of the solution. We have formed an independent foundation, to which McKesson contributed $100 million, dedicated to addressing the crisis. We are also advancing company initiatives aimed at preventing opioid abuse and offering thoughtful public policy recommendations, including the Prescription Safety-Alert System (RxSAS) technology proposal. We encourage you to learn more by exploring the information available in the website tabs above.

Each day, our distribution team delivers life-saving medicines to pharmacies, hospitals and clinics that serve millions of Americans. We take to heart that each and every item delivered – every pill bottle, every vial, every ointment – reaches a patient in need. We know that it’s not just a package, it’s a patient.

Over the past decade, as the opioid epidemic evolved rapidly, we enhanced our teams, processes and technologies dedicated to preventing diversion. We are committed to maintaining – and continuously enhancing – strong programs designed to detect and prevent opioid diversion within the pharmaceutical supply chain, while also protecting the availability of appropriate treatments for patients with serious illnesses and injuries.

This complicated, multi-faceted public health crisis must be addressed through a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Each participant in the pharmaceutical supply chain can play an important role, including:

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has regulatory oversight for all DEA-registrants (doctors, pharmacists, distributors) and sets yearly quotas for the volume of opioids that can be manufactured
  • Drug manufacturers that design, develop and promote the medication
  • Doctors who prescribe the medication
  • Pharmacists who dispense the medication
  • Private and public health insurance groups that determine what they will pay for
  • State medical and pharmacy boards that oversee the doctors and pharmacies in their jurisdiction
  • Distributors that deliver medications ordered by pharmacists to fill prescriptions written by doctors

Today, we are working with others to advance a series of company initiatives focused on helping to address the opioid epidemic, support the formation of a foundation dedicated to combating the crisis, offer thoughtful public policy recommendations – including the Prescription Safety-Alert System (RxSAS) technology proposal – and to support innovative programs and partnerships that we believe can have a meaningful impact on this challenging issue. We are committed to engaging with all who share our dedication to acting with urgency to address this epidemic and working together to end this national crisis. We encourage you to click through to the tabs above to learn more about our response to the opioid crisis.