An automatic system drops pharmaceutical orders on a conveyor belt to be placed into boxes at Morris and Dickson Co., in Shreveport, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed one of the nation’s largest wholesale drug distributors to keep shipping opioid painkillers for nearly four years after a judge recommended in 2018 it lose its license for its “cavalier disregard” of thousands of suspicious orders fueling the opioid crisis. (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Shreveport Times via AP)
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed one of the nation’s largest drug distributors to keep shipping addictive painkillers for nearly four years despite a judge’s recommendation to strip its license for turning a blind eye to thousands of suspicious opioid orders. The DEA did not respond to questions about its handling of Morris & Dickson Co. or the involvement of a key consultant the company had hired who is now the DEA’s second-in-command. But the delay has raised concerns about how the revolving door may be impacting the DEA’s mission to police drug companies blamed for thousands of overdose deaths.