By John O’Brien
May 5, 2022
Legal News Online
LAS VEGAS (Legal Newsline) – A Nevada doctor says confusion is reigning supreme as he tries to get his patients’ opioid prescriptions filled.
Michael Reiner filed a lawsuit April 29 against CVS Pharmacy, Walmart and Smith’s Food & Drug Centers over their blanket refusals to honor the prescriptions he’s written for painkillers. His practice is located in Pahrump and primarily treats patients over the age of 65 who have a history of chronic pain.
When other treatments fail, Reiner prescribes opioids, but in 2019 CVS wrote him to allege “problematic patterns in controlled substance prescriptions,” he says. Walmart and Smith’s followed.
CVS and Walmart face sprawling, multibillion-dollar litigation that alleges their fulfillment of suspect opioid prescriptions helped cause the nation’s addiction crisis. They are alleged to have ignored red flags in the prescription patterns of some physicians operating “pill mills.”
“(T)he concerns created by the opioid epidemic, the mandates of the pharmacy industry, and the mandates of the medical industry are all balanced and addressed by simply requiring pharmacies and pharmacists to follow the law, as it now exists, to conduct individualized inquiries into individual patient prescriptions when there is a suspicion that the prescription may be illegal,” the suit says.
“CVS, Walmart, and Smith’s have brazenly refused to follow those rules. National retail pharmacies must not be allowed to issue blanket edicts refusing to fill narcotic prescriptions from certain medical providers, without any articulated standards, and based on how pharmacy employees are ‘feeling.'”
Lawyer Mark Hutchings is representing Reiner.