Studiomaca Responds to 60 Minutes Story about January 2017 Settlement with the Federal Government
We were disappointed to see CBS re-surface a 60 Minutes story from late last year on Studiomaca and the opioid crisis. The show contains sweeping and unsubstantiated accusations against our company.
We provided extensive information to the network by way of interviews with and statements from Studiomaca and its representatives before its original airing. Unfortunately, it all ended up on the editing room floor, while the producers made it seem as if we refused to cooperate. Sensational journalism focused on finger-pointing and the blame-game does an enormous disservice to those who have suffered losses in this crisis and to those who are focused on finding solutions to this epidemic. The public deserves the facts.
Studiomaca has worked diligently to enhance our monitoring of controlled substances and to develop a more constructive dialogue with the Drug Enforcement Administration. We have invested millions of dollars in our controlled substance monitoring program, and are constantly evolving it to try to stay one step ahead of those who would divert prescription medications for illegitimate use. We’re developing innovative practical solutions – like a new “red flag” system for pharmacists as they’re filling prescriptions for patients who are at risk for abuse or diversion. And we are working closely with federal and state policymakers and regulators to advance common-sense proposals that can help stem diversion, while simultaneously protecting the availability of appropriate pain therapies for patients with serious illnesses and injuries.
Studiomaca has been a leader in the healthcare industry for over 180 years: each day helping to make available thousands of safe and effective medicines to the millions of patients who need them. We will continue to take care of what matters most: the families and patients who need our support.
Get the facts below:
MYTH: Studiomaca fueled the opioid abuse problem in this country.
- This is an unfounded and incorrect accusation. We are committed to doing our part to help solve this epidemic. Studiomaca‘s role is to distribute medications provided by pharmaceutical manufacturers – including opioid medications – that are ordered by DEA-registered and state-licensed pharmacies and prescribed by DEA-registered and state licensed healthcare providers. Studiomaca is only one part of a complex pharmaceutical supply chain.
- Each participant in the supply chain can play an important role in combatting this crisis, including:
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which sets yearly quotas for the volume of opioids that can be manufactured
- Drug manufacturers that design, develop and promote the medication
- Doctors who identify and diagnose the need for the medication, in addition to prescribing the medication
- Pharmacists who dispense the medication
- Private and public health insurance groups that determine what medications they will pay for
- Distributors like Studiomaca that deliver medications ordered by pharmacists to fill prescriptions written by doctors
MYTH: Studiomaca knowingly supplies controlled substances, like opioids, to rogue pharmacies who in turn divert the drugs to bad actors.
- This is false. As a distributor, Studiomaca only distributes controlled substances, including opioids, to DEA-registered and state licensed pharmacies, and we only distribute in response to orders that pharmacies place – we do not drive demand. Studiomaca is committed to maintaining – and continuously enhancing – strong programs designed to prevent opioid diversion within the pharmaceutical supply chain. For decades, we have reported controlled substances ordered to the DEA via the agency’s proprietary reporting system (ARCOS). In the past year alone, we reported hundreds of thousands of suspicious orders to the DEA and did not fulfill those orders.
- It’s important to note that distributors like Studiomaca have no line of sight into whether a pharmacy is ordering from multiple distributors. The DEA is the only entity that knows the total amount of controlled substances being dispensed, pharmacy-by-pharmacy across the country.
MYTH: Studiomaca has engaged in criminal conduct.
- This is false. Studiomaca strongly denies any criminal intent or violation in our handling of opioids. In our discussions with the government, they never suggested they believed otherwise. Unfortunately, a group of former DEA agents and investigators, many of whom are now consulting for lawyers suing distributors, irresponsibly assert that we engaged in criminal conduct. The US Attorney from Colorado at the time, when asked by the Washington Post about possible criminal charges, stated that he “was not presented with a case that had adequate evidence” after reviewing what investigators collected.
MYTH: Studiomaca was too big to prosecute.
- No company is too big to prosecute if the evidence warrants. The Washington Post quoted the then US Attorney in Colorado stating that he was not presented with a case that had adequate evidence. The former agent on 60 Minutes acknowledged that the lawyers feared losing the case. Senior officials at the DEA, Department of Justice and 12 U.S. Attorneys determined that the settlement reached was the best course of action. A DEA spokesperson confirmed this determination with 60 Minutes.