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CVS Blacklists Three Dozen Doctors To Try To Stem Abuse Of Painkillers

OxyContin pills at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP/Toby Talbot)

OxyContin pills at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP/Toby Talbot)

As rates of opioid drug abuse continue to climb in Massachusetts and many parts of the nation, Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark has has identified 36 doctors who it believes are over-prescribing opioids such as Oxycontin. The stores pharmacies stopped filling painkiller prescriptions from those doctors nine months ago.

Guest

Troyen Brennan, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark.

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Commonhealth Rhode-Island-based CVS says it has stopped filling prescriptions for painkillers from doctors who are over-prescribing to an extreme.

New England Journal of Medicine Surprisingly, now 9 months after we stopped filling controlled substance prescriptions for these clinicians’ patients, we’ve had contact from only 3 of them requesting reinstatement in our pharmacy chain.

Radio Boston Walgreens is now requiring pharmacists to verify prescriptions for certain controlled substances, which means they might contact doctors and make sure they were correct in prescribing pain relievers and other controlled drugs before giving patients their medication.

Commonhealth An American Medical Association committee chair blasted Walgreens’ policy, “The physician-patient relationship is focused on the patient’s disease and how best to treat it in the context of the patient’s health and social factors. A pharmacy does not have this perspective.”

WBUR Eastern Massachusetts had the highest rate of emergency room visits involving illicit drugs of any metropolitan region in the United States in 2011.


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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

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