Can pharmacies combat prescription drug abuse by refusing to fill orders? Some pharmacies in Florida seem to think so.
Some CVS and Walgreen’s locations in Florida are refusing to fill oxycodone prescriptions for patients they believe are abusing the medication. The pharmacies have stated that oxycodone is often overprescribed by doctors and, while it helps people cope with chronic pain, it is highly addictive.
Florida has an estimated sale of 400 million tablets of oxycodone every year, the highest of any state in the U.S.
Patients have lashed out against the pharmacies, understandably upset by the refusal to fill much-needed pain prescriptions. However, the pharmacies maintain that they are only fulfilling their duty to protect patients from unnecessary medication.
CVS reportedly sent letters to a number of Florida doctors informing them that they will no longer fill any narcotic prescriptions they order. Additionally, Walgreen’s could not provide any specific reason why its Lee County locations are refusing these prescriptions, saying only that they “allow [their] pharmacists to use their professional judgment when dispensing all medications.”
While these measures are geared towards preventing drug abuse, people living with actual pain are no doubt being affected by this. Living with pain severely affects your quality of life and can eliminate the ability to go to work and provide for your family. It is unfortunate that some people suffer because the pharmacy will not dispense their pain medication.
Some people have shared this link to a petition created by the American Pain Foundation (APF) to make your voice heard. Change.org