Cardinal Health Inc., a maker of medical supplies, said it has set aside $25 million to cover the costs of a potential settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a filing with the SEC, Cardinal said a final settlement figure could be higher. The announcement may be a sign that the SEC's nearly two-year investigation into Cardinal's accounting practices could be nearing an end. The investigation began in October 2003 with a review of Cardinal's treatment of money it recovered from vitamin manufacturers. The investigation was later expanded to include Cardinal's core pharmaceutical distribution business and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York also began its own investigation last year.

After an internal investigation, Cardinal restated profits from the 2000 to 2003 fiscal years, cutting $28.4 million from its bottom line in the 2004 fiscal year and disciplined or fired a number of employees.

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