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FDA blasts McKesson for not monitoring opioid shipments

A pile of oxycodone pills.
Oxycodone pills. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The FDA has sent a warning letter to McKesson, alleging the drug distributor broke federal law by not responding to notifications from pharmacies that drugs were tampered with while in McKesson's possession — including instances where oxycodone pills were stolen and replaced with "illegitimate" medications. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the alleged violations were "simply unacceptable."

Why it matters: Drug wholesalers like McKesson face a lot of legal liability for their role in the opioid epidemic, and now the FDA is threatening legal action if the companies don't prove they are rectifying their oversight of painkiller shipments. McKesson said it has been in touch with the FDA and is "in the process of providing additional procedural detail and documentation."