Opiod Crisis Apparently Fueling Change In Cardinal Health Leadership

Nov 7, 2017

George Barrett

Cardinal Health, which has been named in a number of lawsuits and exposés over the opioid crisis, is making changes in it's leadership.

M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU in Kent reports.

The Teamsters union is one of the largest investors in Cardinal Health. Citing the opioid crisis, it led an effort heading into this week’s annual meeting to split the top leadership roles of chairman and CEO. But that Chairman and CEO -- George Barrett -- beat them to it. He announced he’ll turn the CEO job over to the company’s long-time chief financial officer, while he remains chairman for another year. In a quarterly earnings call, Barrett addressed the opioid crisis directly, calling it “large, complicated, tragic and personal.”
But he insisted his company is doing its part to control opioids ending up on the black market.

“As a wholesale distributor, we do not manufacture, promote, market or prescribe these drugs. We do however take very seriously our responsibilities to serve our healthcare system. Our anti-diversion systems and controls are substantial, they are well-funded and they are best in class.

Barrett said the company’s plans to invest more in the education of doctors, pharmacists and students are running slightly behind, but they will be fulfilled this year.