The DEA Knows exactly what they are doing ?

This is a comment on my blog a few days ago .. in response to my post

Second “I’m not comfortable” TV reports from Orlando in < 7 days

“The DEA Knows exactly what they are doing, they never tell pharmacist who to fill, they just scare the pharmacist bad enough and tell him he will close the pharmacy and send the pharmacist to jail, if he fills a bad prescription. So then the DEA Agent just comes into the pharmacy and says ” I would like to see Dr Jone’s prescriptions he has been writing lately. and then the DEA agent leaves and the terrified Pharmacist says to his staff “don’t fill Dr Jone’s Scripts, he is being watched by DEA!! This is all part of the agents plan and now that pharmacy does not fill Dr. Jone’s PATIENTS SCRIPTS”

When I read this.. I wondered, why would a DEA agent come to a pharmacy to see what a particular doctor is prescribing… why not go to the particular doc’s office and ask the question?

A inside joke with some of my friends is that “I know people in low places… that knows people in LOWER PLACES “… so I reached out to one of these people .. retired from working for  the DOJ…

As best as I can ascertain… The DEA agent is not breaking any law – including HIPAA – for ASKING for the information… The only way that a DEA agent is legally entitled to person health information contained in a Pharmacy prescription files is with a subpoena or court order… but by ASKING the Pharmacist and the Pharmacist turns that PHI over to the DEA agent.. the Pharmacist is violating HIPAA … by doing so without a court order or written permission from the pts involved. It is not ILLEGAL for the DEA to possess this PHI obtained this way.

Also my understanding of WAG’S good faith policy.. when a WAG’S Pharmacist declines a control Rx .. the policy mandates that a copy be sent to the local DEA office.. IMO.. WAGS doesn’t have the legal authority to mandate this PHI to be turned over to the DEA.. I find it hard to believe that a court system would/could issue a blanket order for WAGS to do this. I have seen WAGS stating in public statements time and time again that the cannot force one of their Pharmacist to fill or not fill a Rx that they are “not comfortable with”.. Everything is the Pharmacist’s own professional discretion or decision… So could it be.. a WAGS Pharmacist following these good faith policy guidelines and turning copies of these controlled Rxs over to the DEA… be their PROFESSIONAL DECISION to violate HIPAA.. unless they have a court order for regarding a specific pt and/or the specific pt has signed a HIPAA release allowing that information to be shared with the DEA ?

One of these days, Pharmacists are going to realize that they are out their on a very small limb ALL BY THEMSELVES and those within our judicial system or corporate America will cut that limb off.. because while their ability to stroke your ego about your professional discretion.. you are completely expendable .. because they have another naive Pharmacist waiting in line to climb out on another limb… confident that they are TOO SMART to let something like that happening to them… because they are going to be a “good little company person”


2 Responses

  1. So I was correct….they do need a subpoena!! (Thank you my former Purdue law Professor) Seriously, if they came in and asked me, I’d be telling them I’d need one of those pieces of paper,and I have done it before here in Indiana a few times back in the day….They happily obliged. My professional discrection and that was BEFORE HIPAA. If I was working for WAGS, I wouldn’t be sending any denied scripts to the DEA either….that policy never made any sense…why would they need that info…they certainly weren’t going after the patients regarding the prescriptions! The whole thing smacked of privacy violations and this ‘must have the diagnosis codes on the CII prescriptions” to fill them….I looked at the DEA regs and the Florida 2014 statutes and have yet to find any direct statements that say the diagnosis MUST be on the actual prescription for it to be filled….

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