RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Riverview woman is leading the charge against what she calls discrimination of people with chronic pain, filing a class action lawsuit against the biggest pharmacy chain in America, CVS.
Edit Fuog says in a move to correct the abuse of pain medications in America, CVS has been discriminating those who need medication.
“In 2011 I had stage 1 breast cancer, and from that point on I started having really rare complications,” said Fuog, who’s named as the plaintiff in the class action complaint.
Fuog has a long medical history. On top of surviving cancer she has suffered through MRSA, sepsis, Lupus, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and now lives with severe chronic pain.
“I’m one of a ton of people that have things like this happen to them and live with chronic pain, and it’s not a fun way to live,” said Fuog.
Doctor’s prescribe her opioid medication, but in Nov. 2016, she got bad news from her pharmacist at CVS—they would no longer fill her opiod prescriptions.
“He says, my advice to you is go find a new pharmacy. I said, ok. That’s what I started doing and ever since then my life has been a living hell because I’m lucky if I find a pharmacy that will fill them,” Fuog recalled.
In a 31-page class action complaint filed in a US District Court in Rhode Island, where CVS Pharmacy is based, Fuog and her attorney say the company is violating the American’s with Disabilities Act, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Affordable Care Act.
“If they have a question, the pharmacist needs to pick up the phone, contact the doctor, and ask that question, not refuse it. That’s what’s happening,” said Scott Hirsch, Foug’s attorney on the case.
Foug believes by trying to stop the abuse of pain meds, pharmacies are turning away the people who need them to live.
“But the way the system is set up now it’s impossible for anyone to abuse the medications because the doctors and the pharmacies are all linked together,” said Foug.
8 On Your Side’s Marco Villarreal made several attempts to contact CVS Pharmacy about the lawsuit and their policies regarding filling opioid prescriptions. We have not heard back from anyone at the company.