The federal Department of Health and Human Services has banned the chairman of the board of KV Pharmaceuticals Company from taking part in any federal health care programs. It’s the first time the agency has taken an action of that kind against the head of any drug company. The action against Marc Hermelin could mean KV could not market drugs through any federal drug program as long as he is in charge of the company.

KV Pharmaceuticals, based in St. Louis, was a major player in the generic drug market but was caught shipping oversize morphine tablets and other strangely-shaped medicines. The company was convicted on criminal charges earlier this year. It stopped production some time ago.