March 30, 2020  Last Update: November 12, 2019, 4:01 pm

Doctor Blacklisted by CVS Sues for Defamation

CVS Florida blacklist

CVS Pharmacy has blacklisted at least 22 doctors in Florida from prescribing select addictive narcotics. The move impacts over 700 pharmacies in Florida. One doctor has filed a defamation lawsuit.

CVS/Pharmacy refuses to fill any more prescriptions from at least 22 doctors, according to a Black List distributed to over 700 pharmacies in Florida. The drugs effected are narcotics. The doctors were notified in a letter from CVS last November.

The action is controversial. Some say it is discrimination. The Orlando Sentinel reports that some Florida residents backed the action taken by CVS, pointing to the overwhelming number of people addicted to prescription painkillers.

Now one doctor is fighting back. Dr. Sylvester Hanna, owner of Wellness Centers USA filed a defamation suit against CVS. According to his lawyer Gus Benitez, CVS is lying: 

By refusing to fill his prescriptions, CVS/Pharmacy is falsely implying that Dr. Sylvester Hanna, owner of Wellness Centers USA, is acting illegally or unethically.

Media outlets are reporting that CVS will not release the exact number of doctors on the list, nor will they say how they selected the doctors for blacklisting. Some think the DEA played a role. The Orlando Sentinel obtained a copy of the document titled “CVS — DEA: Florida High Prescribers (XLS).” Notice the letters “DEA” in the file name. The Sentinel also asked the DEA about that, but a DEA spokesman denied any involvement.

Whether the DEA influenced CVS or not, the patients of at least 22 doctors in Florida will have some difficulty filling their legally valid narcotics prescriptions. With over 700 pharmacies in Florida, CVS controls a significant portion of the legal drug distribution in Florida. Dr. Sylvester is challenging CVS’s authority to restrict that distribution outside of the law. As we previously noted, the Florida Department of Health specifically grants pharmacists that right, and binds them to a responsibility:

Pharmacists in Florida are required by law to control distribution of scheduled substances and are required to judge the validity of a prescription and the person presenting it.





  1. V. Collazo says:

    IN SHORT: Walgreens Pharmacy Profiles customers. I have chronic pain and have filled my scrips for the past 3 yrs w/ Walgreens. Never ever have I been so humiliated and discriminated by any health care professional. I handed my pain scrip to pharm tech. She looked @ it and handed it right back nd said they didn’t have it. Then she stated they didn’t have enough to fill said scrip. THEN she stated (after much debate) that she had enough and for me to return in 2 hrs. SO, from none to all…WTF! I was in tears when I left and embarrassed. This happened WHY?! I am a 45 year old single mom. Clean and law abiding. Unfortunately I SUFFER with chronic pain due to a car accident that has left me w/ a bad disc herniation @ c4-c5, bulging discs through out my full spine, sciatic nerve damage, spinal stenosis and migraines (6 to 8 times a month). On top of this I have to endure monthly visits to my pharmacy (walgreens prescription club card holder) to be treated like a JUNKIE! IN FRONT OF MY SON. This is just the beginning of my wrath, if you will. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!! Who wants to stand up and fight with me against this discriminating beast we call Wallgreens? I AM….and I WILL FIGHT. Will you? I know I am NOT alone.

    • definitely NOT alone i have the same problem its the few bad seeds that ruin it 4 all of us

    • f.gatto says:

      this also happened to me as well im in the same boat with multi level disk degeneration and spinal stenosis I went to fill my script and Walgreens did the same to me I felt humiliated and was very angry when I left the store when did the pharmacist become doctors and decide what’s best for my condition my doctor monitors my meds with urine tests all the time I don’t party on these meds I have a legitimate injury that’ll never go away and surgery is no option I had several opinions from doctors and they all said the same thing how dare Walgreen’s treat me like this they have no right to treat anyone in such a way I can understand the problem Florida is facing and yes they should have the dea step in and filter out the scum im also diabetic and am on other meds as well what if they pulled this with those meds as well I might as well dig my hole now before its too late so I sympathize with you and all that are going through this

  2. wendy freeman says:

    I was a CVS pharmacist and I feel very sorry to what happen to the customers above. Everyday, I had to walk in conflict between state laws, federal laws, employers (horrible bosses!!) and compassion!!! I had many cases that patients are so addicted (mostly caused by prior surgery, accidents or cancers), they loss their sanity or thinking. When called MD, most MD said to me to give to patients and they would get rid of these patients. When asked why MD did not control therapy of narcotics or pain med, they said to me it is not my business!!! Well, one local cop called me while I was running high speed in pharmacy and stated that why I dispensed methadone when she was high. Well, she appeared well while in front of pharmacy and MD said just gave it to her regardless of consistent overusing methadone in the past. How I help my patients and myself and MD? I always tell patient to bring with them the hard copy of MD diagnosis as a proof of using pain meds.At the same time, I counsel my patients about the negative effects of those meds and the consequences of overusing it. I also stress about staying with one MD instead of many MD. Many patients don’t know that pharmacists have the rights by law that we can flag customers if they have multiple md for pain med or MD shopping!!! So, help yourself next time going to pharmacy: always had proof of your diagnosis why you need pain med, stay with one or 2 MDs only, and stay with one or 2 pharmacies only.

  3. There is definitely a problem now that doctors have prescribed high levels of powerful pain killers, patients have grown accustomed to them, and regulatory agencies are abruptly shutting off supplies (or threatening pharmacies, who second-guess doctors). But fixing the problem should NOT hurt patients! The only reason the whole system exists (and all of those parties are making profits) is to HELP the patients in the first place!

    Patients should communicate directly and honestly with their doctors. If your doctor listens, she can help protect you against these sudden changes. If she or he doesn’t listen or won’t help, you may have to help yourself during these tough times. A medical detox from prescription painkillers may be the best option for patients who find themselves physically dependent on the drugs but left unsupported by their doctors and pharmacies.

    With a short medical detox, you may be able to come off the highest doses, regain control over your pain management, and reset your dose or prescription to manageable levels. Medical detox is different from “drug detox” because we have medical staff available 24/7 and they medically monitor and manage every person for their needs, using the proper medications and medical means to manage discomfort, including withdrawal and maintenance for pain sufferers.

    Prescription pain medication dependence became one of the top reasons for coming to Sunrise Detox a few years ago, as the regulatory changes started. From our viewpoint helping hundreds of people every month with the same situations (different sources of pain, but the same SNAFU with access to powerful painkillers), the best thing a patient can do is go to a medical detox center (like Sunrise in NJ and Florida, or any other qualified medical facility with JCAHO certification). In medical detox you can get help right now with the meds problem, get updated on the latest meds and options for treating your pain, and get connected to the right doctors that will help you.


    i think that this is a horrible practice and not the way to fix the problem. i can no longer get my prescriptions filled and my doc, is legitimate, and very strict and follows the letter of the law. this is a shame, that people who are legitimately ill cannot get any pain relief. actually walgreens and cvs are not filling any pain prescriptions, it isn’t limited to any particular doctor…they stopped completely. that is the trutth..they fill for no one and no one’s doctor…they will not fill any pain prescriptions any longer for everyone, doesn’t matter who you are or who your doctor is….it is horrible….i won’t post any longer because i am starting to not be able to use my good luck to those who are not drug addicts…and please understand the difference between a body’s tolerance or dependence on a narcotic vs..being addicted or an addict. i am sure the heroin drug problem will sky rocket now….just sending people to the streets to find something to relieve their pain…i would rather die than do that, but i guarantee that is going to be the next really big problem….it will become like a plague of heroin addicts…worse than there are now..mark my words these are the end of times, and for my sake i hope that it is, because i don’t want to be crippled up in pain that makes me want to die…..


  1. […] practices, and at least one CVS branch in Florida was busted for sloppy prescription processing.  CVS blacklisted some pain clinic doctors in Florida, some of whom later sued CVS for defamation. New York has its own prescription drug task force […]

  2. […] DEA labeled a “bold prescriber” has been fighting the DEA over the issue, and at least one pain doctor in Florida has sued a pharmacy over a similar DEA-supported drug prescriber […]

  3. […] Doctor Blacklisted by CVS Sues for Defamation […]

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