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As the opioid crisis continues unabated, California authorities are taking one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical wholesalers to task for failing to oversee shipments of controlled substances, including instances where deliveries were accepted by a pharmacist — who was already dead.

In a March 1 complaint that was posted late last month on its website, the California Board of Pharmacy accused Cardinal Health (CAH) of delivering controlled substances to Lane Medical Pharmacy, where at times, someone other than the licensed pharmacist signed for the shipments.


The pattern began in 2015, but then 10 more deliveries were made from early 2016 through mid-2017 after the owner and licensed pharmacist, Lane Frankel, had passed away. Yet on five of those occasions, the shipments were purportedly accepted by Frankel. During a subsequent investigation, the board discovered that a pharmacy technician signed for the deliveries, according to the complaint.

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