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:
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: