After CVS (NYSE:CVS) stopped filling prescriptions for high-powered painkillers for 36 doctors the chain deemed suspicious, it seems that most of them don't have any argument with the decision. Despite being cut off for months, only three of the 36 doctors have asked to be reinstated.
"Surprisingly, now nine months after we stopped filling controlled-substance prescriptions from these clinicians' patients, we've had contact from only three of them," read an article in The New England Journal of Medicine that was co-authored by Mitch Betses, the drugstore chain's senior VP of pharmacy services, and Troyen Brennan, its executive VP and chief medical officer.
The retailer announced last month that it had stopped dispensing prescriptions for the drugs to a small group of its almost 1 million prescribers. The decision was based on data that indicated these doctors were prescribing the opiates, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, alprazolam, methadone and carisprodol, in much larger volumes than comparable prescribers, especially to patients 18 to 35 years old.
CVS has said it is willing to share the names of questionable prescribers with government officials, but would have to evaluate doing the same for competing chains on a case-by-case basis.
"Everyone has always thought the definition of a legitimate prescription is one that came from a bonafide physician who wrote the prescription, but I don't think the DEA looks at it that way any longer," said Mike James, VP and director of government affairs for the Association of Community Pharmacists Congressional Network.
- See this Supermarket News story
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