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In another effort to hold drug distributors accountable for the opioid crisis, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is urging Cardinal Health shareholders to appoint an independent chairman, the second such time the union has taken this type of step against a wholesaler in recent months.

The union sent a letter on Friday arguing for the move in light of successive settlements the wholesaler reached in the past year with state and federal authorities. A $20 million deal was reached with West Virginia for failing to prevent the diversion of opioid painkillers and a $44 million agreement was concluded with the U.S. Department of Justice for failing to report large amounts of suspicious orders.


The current structure of the Cardinal Health board has proven “inadequate in tackling” the company’s “role in fueling the opioid crisis,” the union wrote in advance of the Cardinal Health shareholder meeting on Nov. 8. And the current chairman and chief executive, George Barrett, “has failed to set the correct tone at the top as the company has become entangled in the opioid crisis.”

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