The crack down on Florida pill mills continues with CVS pharmacies notifying some doctors that they no longer will fill their prescriptions for certain narcotic medications.
According to Health News Florida, this new policy appears to be limited to Florida, but CVS has not clearly stated what is being used to determine which doctors can have their prescriptions filled for which drugs (though oxycodone definitely appears to be a target).
The Florida Academy of Pain Management, released a letter via email alert that was sent by CVS to a Central Florida physician. The physician who received the letter had never been disciplined by state medical regulators and had extensive pain management training. The email alert, stated that CVS appears to “have initiated an internal program where they are profiling physicians’ controlled substance prescribing habits and possibly their patients’ prescriptions.”
A spokesperson for CVS said that the company is refusing to fill prescriptions for a “small number of Florida physicians” and is supporting measures by federal and state law enforcement officials to “keep controlled substances out of the wrong hands.”
While some pain physicians have not received a letter, they have been told by patients that they are being analyzed by CVS for writing prescriptions for narcotics, especially a specific combination of medications with high potential for abuse — oxycodone, Xanax and Soma. This trio has been widely prescribed at pill mills.
Although the actions taken by CVS may be extreme, other pharmacies and pharmacists are increasingly hesitant about filling certain prescriptions. With pain killers now responsible for more than seven overdose deaths a day in Florida, there is reason to be cautious, and pharmacists are professionally obligated not to fill prescriptions they find questionable.
However, stricter regulations on pain clinics, pain management physicians and prescription writing has left patients who face real pain unable to obtain necessary medication. Legitimate patients are being punished for the actions of a small group of corrupt practitioners.
Florida must find a way to get out of the Catch-22 in which the state is currently entangled. Yes, prescription drug abuse is a problem, but so is the real pain faced by many patients.
For more information on legal matters concerning pain clinics and pain management physicians, visit www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.