Doc Claims Pharmacies’ Blacklists Err

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – CVS Caremark and Target pharmacies blacklisted a doctor, won’t fill his patients’ prescriptions and falsely told them he is on a federal “watch list,” the doctor claims in a class action.
     Dr. Roy H. Simon sued CVS Caremark, CVS Pharmacy, Target, and Rite Aid, in Superior Court. He claims there are hundreds of doctors in the class.
     Simon describes himself in the complaint as a “pain management physician.” The California Medical Board placed his medical license on probation on April 12, 2011, but the Sacramento Superior Court overturned the suspension on Sept. 4, 2012, Simon says in the complaint.
     He claims he “never lost his license to practice medicine in the State of California and has not otherwise met any criteria for inclusion on the Medi-Cal Ineligible and Suspended Providers List.”
     Simon claims he was blacklisted due to claims-processing software pharmacies use that have access to the Medi-Cal Ineligible and Suspended Providers List.
     He claims: “The defendant pharmacies use the Medi-Cal Suspended and Ineligible Provider List to bar hundreds of listed doctors’ patients from legally obtaining prescription medication, despite the fact that those patients are not Medi-Cal beneficiaries.”
     He claims the defendant pharmacies can correct errors by “cross-checking” the Medi-Cal list with other medical databases, but they choose not to.
     “To make matters worse, the defendant pharmacies are providing false and misleading information to patients about the reasons their prescriptions cannot be filled, including claims that the patients’ physicians are on state and federal ‘watch lists,’ have been sanctioned by the Medical Board, are under investigation, and that they have been convicted of a felony, or are not licensed to practice medicine in California,” Simon says in the complaint.
     Simon claims he does not treat Medi-Cal patients and did not know about the list until pharmacies started denying his patients’ prescription requests in late 2012.
     In November 2012, Simon claims, a CVS pharmacist in Gardena told one of his patients “that he could not fill a prescription for a controlled substance because Roy Simon is a felon without a license in California to practice medicine.”
     Six other pharmacists refused to fill patients’ prescription and told them that Simon was “not licensed to practice medicine,” or “sanctioned by the state” or was a felon, he says in the complaint.
     He says the pharmacies’ false claims that he lost his medical license hurt his professional reputation and cost him business.
     He seeks restitution and compensatory and punitive damages for slander and unfair competition. He also wants the pharmacies restrained from “making any statements of any kind whatsoever concerning any physician’s listing on the Medi-Cal Suspended and Ineligible Provider List”.
     He is represented by Matthew Rifat of San Diego.

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