Back in November, some Florida doctors received an unsigned letter from CVS/pharmacy telling them that the company's pharmacists would no longer fill prescriptions they write for painkillers and other powerful drugs.
Community members against pill mills and overprescribing doctors are thrilled with the actions taken by CVS. The company is being praised for taking proactive steps at a time when prescription drug abuse has become out of control in Florida.
However, the letter has also been called a "blacklist" and has been criticized as discriminatory. Now, at least one Orlando doctor is trying to fight back with legal action, claiming that CVS has basically called him a criminal, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
CVS has refused to answer any specific questions about why or how it compiled the list, which includes at least 22 physicians from Central Florida. The company also won't say how many doctors statewide were notified that their prescriptions would no longer be filled. The spreadsheet of doctors is titled "CVS-DEA: Florida High Prescribers," but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said the agency didn't have anything to do with the pharmacy's list.
The defamation suit against CVS claims that by telling pharmacists not to fill certain doctors' prescriptions, the company is falsely implying that the physician is acting illegally. Critics of CVS also claim that the company is not only blacklisting doctors, but is also causing harm to many pain patients who truly need pain medication.
The Florida Department of Health has recommended several of the doctors on the CVS list have their medical licenses suspended or revoked because of improper practices.
CVS decided to refuse filling prescription from certain doctors after Florida's reputation as a pill mill state continued to increase. Prescription drug abusers have come to Florida for years due to a lack of legislation and regulation of pain clinics. In 2010, 90 of the top 100 oxycodone purchasing doctors in the United States were from Florida.
Law enforcement responded to the epidemic by targeting individuals or groups who bought hundreds of pills at pain clinics and the doctors who supply to them. Lawmakers enacted legislation last year that toughens penalties against doctors and banned most physicians from dispensing painkillers from their offices.
However, the actions of CVS mark the first time a major pharmacy chain has become involved in the enforcement process.
If you think you have been targeted by CVS or law enforcement, please call our office at (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 to speak to an attorney. For more information visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.