Americans suffering from anxiety and sleep disorders have been unable to get their prescriptions filled at pharmacies due to secret provisions in a recently settled lawsuit over the proliferation of opioids, according to a report.
Pharmacists say that they are being prevented from fulfilling orders on key medications such as Xanax and Adderall due to a 2021 settlement with three of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers — AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson.
The three companies agreed to pay a collective $19.5 billion to 46 states nationwide who sued the firms, settling thousands of lawsuits that were filed by local governments, Native American tribes, hospitals groups, and others.
The pharmaceutical companies were accused of fueling the opioid epidemic by flooding areas with pills while downplaying their health risks.
A clause in the settlement places a cap on the number of controlled substances that pharmacies are allowed to dispense, according to Bloomberg News.
That means that pharmacies are often blocked from fulfilling prescriptions to patients in need of refills.
In some cases, patients are sent to independent pharmacies that haven’t yet reached the threshold on how many orders they can fill.
“I understand the intention of this policy is to have control of controlled substances so they don’t get abused, but it’s not working,” Richard Glotzer, a Millwood, NY-based independent pharmacist, told Bloomberg News.
“There’s no reason I should be cut off from ordering these products to dispense to my legitimate patients that need it.”
The caps put in place are determined based on daily, monthly, and quarterly statistics on the sale of prescribed substances, according to Bloomberg News.
“You don’t know what you’re going to get” when an order is placed, according to Glotzer. “It’s no way to do business, let’s put it that way.”
Glotzer said that the caps have affected his ability to aid those who are suffering from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and were prescribed drugs such as Concerta and Ritalin.
In February, he was only able to get Cardinal to send him 100 pills — compared to 3,700 the previous month.
As of March 23, Glotzer said he hadn’t been able to get any medications from Cardinal.
He said that McKesson sent him a shipment but there weren’t nearly enough pills for his patients.
Benjamin Jolley, a Utah-based independent pharmacist, said Cardinal stopped shipping him fentanyl lozenges and other controlled substances, forcing him to turn away patients who suffer from ADHD, chronic pain, cancer, and other maladies.
The Post has sought comment from Cardinal Health, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen.
By: Ny Post