Fighting the Opioid Epidemic
AmerisourceBergen manages the transportation of medication, including controlled substances, from manufacturers to licensed pharmacies and hospitals. Our role in the healthcare supply chain uniquely positions us to contribute important expertise and resources to the battle against opioid abuse in the United States.
We are committed to joining other healthcare stakeholders, government entities, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and individuals to overcome this terrible tragedy.
AmerisourceBergen Response to the Department of Justice Complaint
An Inevitable Outcome of Regulatory and Enforcement Outsourcing
The complaint filed by the Department of Justice attempts to shift the onus of interpreting and enforcing the law from the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to an industry they are tasked with regulating and policing.
Injunctive relief information
AmerisourceBergen has agreed to a nationwide settlement that resolves most of the opioid-related lawsuits filed by state and local government entities across the country. As part of the agreement, court-ordered injunctive relief will apply to each distributor’s Controlled Substance Monitoring Program.
The AmerisourceBergen Foundation remains committed to providing communities with the resources needed to help prevent opioid misuse. We continue to evaluate how we can best leverage our unique resources to support initiatives or organizations that aim to address the nation’s opioid epidemic.
The AmerisourceBergen Foundation Safe Disposal Support Program
The Safe Disposal Support Program provides organizations with access to drug deactivation pouches or packets that enable community members to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs in a safe manner. The deactivation resources allow for local, on-site disposal and can be distributed to other organizations, individuals or households. Impact as of FY21:
Organizations have received assistance
Drug deactivation resources donated to date
Ensuring safe and secure drug distribution
AmerisourceBergen does not prescribe drugs, provide them directly to patients or take any action to drive demand for them. We transport medicine from manufacturers to licensed pharmacies, hospitals and other dispensaries.
Ensuring the safety and security of this process has always been paramount. To achieve this, we continuously evaluate, enhance, strengthen and expand the proven measures we have implemented to maintain the integrity of every order we ship. These processes include:
Performing extensive due diligence on customers who intend to purchase controlled substances from us and vetting discovered information through a best-in-class diversion control team of internal and external experts before granting them permission to purchase.
Maintaining an order monitoring program with sophisticated technology that tests every controlled substance order against established governing criteria. Orders exceeding those criteria are redirected to experienced diversion control personnel for further analysis and possible cancellation.
Providing daily reports to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration of all opioid-based medication orders, including the quantity, type and recipient of each shipped order.
Ensuring that all customers are appropriately licensed by regulatory agencies and continuously monitoring those customers for "red flag" behavior. Discontinue customer relationships where there is an increased potential for diversion by the customer. Support law enforcement efforts to investigate entities that are acting illegally.
For more than a decade, these procedures have enabled us to report and stop tens of thousands of suspicious orders. This does not include countless other orders that were never placed with AmerisourceBergen because of our refusal to provide service.
Read our report on safe and secure distribution of controlled substances:
[These] commitments and initiatives... reflect our belief that all companies in healthcare should be constantly looking at ways to innovate, collaborate and enhance existing practices in order to best combat the opioid issue.
Steven H. Collis
Chairman, President and CEO AmerisourceBergen
Maintaining operational integrity
AmerisourceBergen takes very seriously its neutrality as a distributor of controlled substances. As such, we:
- Take no action whatsoever to promote prescribing or otherwise increase demand for opioids.
- Do not offer our sales representatives special compensation or incentives of any kind that target opioid orders.
- Continuously monitor all orders and immediately flag those deemed potentially suspicious.
Advocating for the highest regulatory standards
Opioids are heavily regulated by the government; from the time they are produced to the time they are dispensed to patients. Every stakeholder in this process — the manufacturer, distributor, prescriber and dispenser — must strictly adhere to requirements outlined in the Federal Code of Regulations.
AmerisourceBergen enthusiastically endorses these guidelines and strongly advocates for the implementation of additional measures.
Read our opinion pieces in the following publications:
- Breaking Down 76 Billion Opioid Pills, Inside Sources
- The media are getting the opioid crisis all wrong, Washington Examiner
- Dollars in the Water: The Bureaucratic Morass of a Trial Lawyer Feeding Frenzy, Morning Consult
- Opioid cases aren't just about 'pills per person', Washington Examiner
- Sound Policy and More Transparency Can Help Companies Fight the Opioid Crisis, Inside Sources