CVS Makes Opioid Buyers Get Overdose Drug California Class Action

Can a pharmacy force you to purchase a drug you don’t want in order to allow you to purchase one that you have a prescription for? The complaint alleges that CVS Pharmacy, Inc. and CVS Health Corporation are forcing customers who want a prescription for an opioid-containing drug filled to also purchase prescribed medication Naloxone or a similar drug designed to reverse overdoses.

The class for this action is all persons who bought opioid medicine from CVS, in the state of California and within the statute of limitations, and were required to buy an opioid overdose reversal medication in order to fill the opioid prescription.

The complaint asserts, “In order to fill a prescription for a medication containing opioids, such as hydrocodone-acetaminophen, CVS forces consumers to simultaneously purchase a prescribed medication, Naloxone or similar drug, designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. The opioid overdose reversal medication can cost more than fifty times the actual opioid pain relief prescription.”

Plaintiff Lisa L. Lee suffered a broken nose and was prescribed ten pills of hydrocodone acetaminophen, a painkiller. She was also given a prescription for Narcan, which is a brand-named Naloxone. She did not want the Narcan. However, when she tried to fill the painkiller prescription at a CVS, which would have cost her less than a dollar (71 cents for ten pills), the pharmacy employee told her she would have to purchase the Narcan as well, for a cost of $121.80.

According to the complaint, CVS tells customers that the purchase of the overdose-reversal medicine is required in order for it to fill the prescription. It claims that it cannot and will not fill the opioid prescription if the customer will not also buy the overdose-reversal medicine.

The complaint claims that these statements are false, because “a pharmacy cannot refuse to fill a lawfully prescribed medication, nor can it impose the requirement to purchase additional medication as a condition for filling an opioid prescription.”

In fact, it quotes California law as saying that a pharmacy “shall not obstruct a patient in obtaining a prescription drug or device that has been legally prescribed or ordered for that patient.”

The complaint accuses CVS of “wield[ing] its market power to force consumers to purchase opioid reversal medication at costly prices set by CVS, which not only cause injury to consumers, but also [have] an anti-competitive effect on the market.”

A law that went into effect in California in January 2019. The complaint explains it this way: “The law requires that a prescriber offer a prescription for a complete or partial reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression medication; it does not impose a requirement that a patient fill and purchase a prescription for the opioid overdose medication in order to fill an otherwise lawful prescription.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

CVS Makes Opioid Buyers Get Overdose Drug California Complaint

September 25, 2020

Can a pharmacy force you to purchase a drug you don’t want in order to allow you to purchase one that you have a prescription for? The complaint alleges that CVS Pharmacy, Inc. and CVS Health Corporation are forcing customers who want a prescription for an opioid-containing drug filled to also purchase prescribed medication Naloxone or a similar drug designed to reverse overdoses.

CVS Makes Opioid Buyers Get Overdose Drug California Complaint

Case Event History

CVS Makes Opioid Buyers Get Overdose Drug California Complaint

September 25, 2020

Can a pharmacy force you to purchase a drug you don’t want in order to allow you to purchase one that you have a prescription for? The complaint alleges that CVS Pharmacy, Inc. and CVS Health Corporation are forcing customers who want a prescription for an opioid-containing drug filled to also purchase prescribed medication Naloxone or a similar drug designed to reverse overdoses.

CVS Makes Opioid Buyers Get Overdose Drug California Complaint
Tags: Opioid Prescriptions, Opioids, Pharmaceuticals, Requiring Customers to Buy an Additional Product