Note 12. Legal Matters and Contingencies
In the ordinary course of its business, the Company becomes involved in lawsuits, administrative proceedings, government subpoenas, and government investigations, including antitrust, commercial, environmental, product liability, intellectual property, regulatory, employment discrimination, and other matters. Significant damages or penalties may be sought from the Company in some matters, and some matters may require years for the Company to resolve. The Company establishes reserves based on its periodic assessment of estimates of probable losses. There can be no assurance that an adverse resolution of one or more matters during any subsequent reporting period will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations for that period or on the Company's financial condition.
The qui tam provisions of the federal civil False Claims Act and various state and local civil False Claims Acts permit a private person, known as a “relator” or whistleblower, to file civil actions under these statutes on behalf of the federal, state and local governments. Such cases may involve allegations around the marketing, sale and/or purchase of pharmaceutical products. Qui tam complaints are initially filed by the relator under seal (or on a confidential basis) and the filing of the complaint imposes obligations on government authorities to investigate the allegations in the complaint and to determine whether or not to intervene in the action. Qui tam complaints remain sealed until the court in which the case was filed orders otherwise.
The Company has learned that there are filings in one or more federal district courts, including a qui tam complaint filed by one of its former employees, that are under seal and may involve allegations against the Company (and/or subsidiaries or businesses of the Company, including its group purchasing organization for oncologists and its oncology distribution business) relating to its distribution of certain pharmaceutical products to providers. The Company and ABSG have also received subpoenas from the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (“USAO”) requesting production of documents and information relating to ABSG's oncology distribution center and pharmacy in Dothan, Alabama, its group purchasing organization for oncologists, and intercompany transfers of certain oncology products, which the Company believes could be related to one or more of the qui tam actions that remain under seal. The Company is in the process of responding to the subpoenas and is cooperating fully with the USAO. The Company cannot predict the outcome of any pending action in which any AmerisourceBergen entity is or may become a defendant.
Subpoenas from United States Attorney's Offices
In fiscal 2012, the Company's subsidiary, ABDC, received a subpoena from the United States Attorney's Office in New Jersey (the “USAO”) in connection with a grand jury proceeding requesting documents concerning ABDC's program for controlling and monitoring diversion of controlled substances into channels other than for legitimate medical, scientific, and industrial purposes. ABDC also received a subpoena from the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) in connection with the matter. In addition to requesting information on ABDC's diversion control program generally, the subpoenas also request documents concerning specific customers' purchases of controlled substances. ABDC has responded to the subpoenas and is cooperating fully with the USAO and the DEA. On August 30, 2013, ABDC received a second subpoena from the USAO requesting additional information related to the documents produced in response to the first subpoena, as well as information regarding additional specific customers' purchases of controlled substances. The Company cannot predict the outcome of this matter.
In fiscal 2013, the Company or ABDC has also received similar subpoenas from the United States Attorney's Office in the District of Kansas and the United States Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Ohio in connection with grand jury proceedings requesting documents in concerning ABDC's program for controlling and monitoring diversion of controlled substances into channels other than for legitimate medical, scientific and industrial purposes. As in the New Jersey matter described above, in addition to requesting information on ABDC's diversion control program generally, the subpoenas also request documents concerning specific customers' purchases of controlled substances. The Company is in the process of responding to the subpoenas and cannot predict the outcome of these matters.
West Virginia Complaint
On June 26, 2012, the Attorney General of the State of West Virginia (“West Virginia”) filed a complaint (the “Complaint”) in the Circuit Court of Boone County, West Virginia, against a number of pharmaceutical wholesale distributors, including the Company's subsidiary, ABDC, alleging, among other things, that the distributors failed to provide effective controls and procedures to guard against diversion of controlled substances for illegitimate purposes in West Virginia. The Complaint also alleges that the distributors acted negligently by distributing controlled substances to pharmacies that serve individuals who abuse prescription pain medication and were unjustly enriched by such conduct, violated consumer credit and protection laws, created a public nuisance, and violated state antitrust laws in connection with the distribution of controlled substances. West Virginia is seeking injunctive relief to enjoin alleged violations of state regulations requiring suspicious order monitoring and reporting and to require defendants to fund a medical monitoring treatment program. The Complaint also seeks a jury trial to determine any losses and damages sustained by West Virginia as a result of the defendants' alleged conduct. On July 26, 2012, one of the defendants, J.M. Smith Corporation d/b/a Smith Drug Company, filed a Notice of Removal from the Circuit Court of Boone County, West Virginia to the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, and ABDC and all other defendants filed Consents to Removal. On August 27, 2012, West Virginia filed a Motion to Remand, to which J.M. Smith Corporate d/b/a Smith Drug Company, joined by all other defendants, filed a reply. On March 27, 2013, the Court granted West Virginia's Motion to Remand and West Virginia notified the parties that they intend to file an amended complaint. The parties are currently litigating certain procedural matters relating to discovery request. The Company cannot predict the outcome of this matter.