Rochester Drug Cooperative ceases opioid sales following criminal charges

pharmafile | January 15, 2020 | News story | Research and Development Bernie Sanders, Trump opioids, opioid, opioid crisis, opioids 

The Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC) has announced it will no longer distribute opioid medications after two of its executives were charged with illegally distributing opioids and conspiring to defraud the FDA.

The RDC said in a statement that: “The ever-increasing expenses associated with the legal and regulatory compliance for this segment of drugs are simply not sustainable. While these specific drugs represent a relatively small percent of total sales, they account for significant legal and compliance.”

RDC is a distributor that buys medicines directly from manufacturers and sells them wholesale. The company says that it ceasing distribution of opioids was unrelated to criminal charges.

Back in April 2019, criminal drug trafficking charges were brought against former Compliance Officer William Pietruszewski and former Chief Executive Officer Laurence Doud III. It was the first time distributors were charged with these crimes.

Pietruszewski pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of wilfully failing to file suspicious order reports with the DEA.

Doud was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He pleaded not guilty to both counts. The case is ongoing and he faces 10 years to life in prison.

Going forward the RDC said they will stop distributing opioids when their stocks run out but will continue with their other healthcare products.

Conor Kavanagh

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