Drug Enforcement Administration

New Orleans

Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge

May 04, 2018

Contact: SA Debbie Webber

Phone Number: (571) 362-4803

DEA Suspends The Registration Of Morris And Dickson Company From Distributing Controlled Substances

WASHINGTON - The Drug Enforcement Administration today announced the issuance of an Immediate Suspension Order served on Morris and Dickson Company, a wholesale pharmaceutical distributor, located in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Morris and Dickson Company has been the subject of a DEA investigation that alleges that this distribution center failed to properly identify large suspicious orders for controlled substances sold to independent pharmacies with questionable need for the drugs. The investigation, which focused primarily on purchases of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, revealed that in some cases, pharmacies were allowed to purchase as much as six times the quantity of narcotics the pharmacy would normally order. In spite of regulations which require distributors to identify such orders, DEA alleges that Morris and Dickson Company failed to identify these large suspicious orders resulting in millions of dosage units of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone being distributed in violation of the law.

“Distributors have an obligation to ensure that all pharmaceutical controlled substances their customers order are for legitimate use, and it is their duty to identify, recognize and report suspicious orders to DEA,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “This is another reminder that DEA will hold accountable those companies who choose to operate outside the law.”

In October 2017, DEA became aware of the high-volume sales of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone from Morris and Dickson Company to five of the top ten purchasing pharmacies within the state of Louisiana. DEA records indicated that Morris and Dickson Company had not filed any suspicious order reports on any of the pharmacies in question in Louisiana. A review of the purchases made by these high-volume independent pharmacies showed that these pharmacies were purchasing quantities which were not indicative of the pharmaceutical market. Not only were numerous “independent” retail pharmacies purchasing more Oxycodone and Hydrocodone than the largest chain pharmacies operating within the state, they were purchasing more narcotics than several of the largest chain pharmacies combined within the same zip code. In some instances, DEA noted these “independent” pharmacies were purchasing more than ten times the amount of narcotics the average Louisiana pharmacy purchased per month.

DEA’s actions today suspend the DEA Certificate of Registration issued to Morris and Dickson Company as a drug distributor pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Sections 823 and 824. The DEA’s investigation of Morris and Dickson Company determined that the continued registration of this company constitutes a substantial likelihood of imminent danger to public health and safety. This action only applies to the distribution of controlled substances and will not affect non-controlled pharmaceutical drugs distributed by the company.

Morris and Dickson Company received written notice of the factual and legal basis for this action. In addition, they will be given the opportunity for an administrative hearing within the next 60 days. After the hearing, the DEA Acting Administrator will make a final decision on whether Morris and Dickson Company’s registration should be permanently revoked. This decision will be published in the Federal Register.

Today, more than four million Americans are addicted to prescription painkillers, including a quarter million adolescents. Sadly, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States, more than deaths from motor vehicle crashes or deaths from firearms. Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.  

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