November 27, 2014  Last Update: November 4, 2014, 4:47 pm

Florida Pain Doctors Blacklisted by CVS

CVS has blacklisted some Florida pain clinic docs, refusing to fill their prescriptions for often abused narcotics like Oxycontin (hydrocodone)

CVS Pharmacies in Florida have decided to refuse certain doctors orders. According to reports, the pharmacy chain has sent letters to an undisclosed number of prescribing physicians in Florida, informing them that their prescriptions for narcotics will no longer be honored at CVS pharmacy branches. The number is reported to be “small”, and CVS is said to have been in communication with the DEA on the issue.

A copy of the letter was sent to the St. Petersburg Times as well as state Surgeon General Frank Farmer. A portion of the letter explains the decision:

“CVS Pharmacy Inc. has become increasingly concerned with escalating reports of prescription drug abuse in Florida, especially oxycodone abuse…We regret any inconvenience that this action may cause. However, we take our compliance obligations seriously and find it necessary to take this action at this time.”

The CEO of the National pain Institute responded with an email to members, revealing an example letter received by one of the Florida pain clinic doctors. The quote of his alert showed he blames CVS for a damning business decision, and suggests that CVS is profiling doctor prescribing habits.

CVS in Florida refusing some doctors orders for pain pills.
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The Florida Department of Health regulates pharmacists. It references Florida statutes for guiding pharmacists behavior, including whether or not to fill any particular prescription. Pharmacists are required by law to control distribution of scheduled substances (like the Oxycontin, Soma, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and other narcotics) and are required to judge the validity of a prescription and the person presenting it. In some cases, pharmacists themselves can dispense substances even without a prescription (such as during an emergency).

In the pharmacy statutes, under “Drug Abuse Prevention and Control” it says:

(2)(a)  A pharmacist may not dispense a controlled substance listed in Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV to any patient or patient’s agent without first determining, in the exercise of her or his professional judgment, that the order is valid. The pharmacist may dispense the controlled substance, in the exercise of her or his professional judgment, when the pharmacist or pharmacist’s agent has obtained satisfactory patient information from the patient or the patient’s agent.

Pharmacists have theirown ethics, standards, and regulatory compliance obligations, and are apparently not willing to simply abide by “doctor’s orders” in all cases.

“This situation highlights the lunacy we’ve gotten ourselves into; we’re talking about dangerous narcotics that are not safe as prescribed…and some pharmacies just don’t feel comfortable doing it anymore”

According to  Sunrise Detox, a local drug detox center in West Palm Beach,  this is a step in the right direction if the doctors were over-prescribing narcotics:

Prescription pill abuse has been an overwhelming problem in florida for the last several years, this isn’t any secret. We support legislation that would make doctor shopping in florida that much more difficult. CVS has taken the first step in publicly denouncing Dr.’s who are abusing their license by overprescribing these dangerous drugs. Over the last 18 months law enforcement has cracked down on numerous outpatient "pain clinics" and continues to take a proactive approach. We have a long way to go, but this is a postive step for the state."

A copy of the letter sent is attached below (PDF).

Some Doctors are choosing to send their patients to other pharmacies, where they can get their prescriptions filled without the extra “scrutiny” imposed by CVS. Others are glad to see increased pressure on the doctors most often prescribing the commonly abused narcotics.

 

Comments

  1. When will these criminal doctors be stopped?

  2. Can you believe that a patient just got told that Dr. Gorrell was on the list because the employee supposedly “googled it” — when I did it pulled up Dr. Gorrell’s own website LOL with reference to THIS ARTICLE!!!! How can they be SOOOOO DUMB?

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