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Dr. Bigler's patients speak out about rejected prescriptions

CVS and Walmart Pharmacies have stopped filling Lafayette Dr. Robert Bigler's pain pill prescriptions. Patients are left wondering why.

Posted: May. 24, 2018 6:00 PM
Updated: May. 24, 2018 6:13 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - CVS and Walmart Pharmacies have stopped filling Lafayette Dr. Robert Bigler's pain pill prescriptions. Patients are left wondering why.

For pharmacies no longer accepting Dr. Robert Bigler's prescriptions, Brian McIntosh has a question.

"Should I make my next doctor's appointment with you?" said McIntosh.

McIntosh has been seeing Dr. Bigler for about 14 years.

"I was diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus can cause different problems," said McIntosh.

Problems requiring pain management and sometimes, opiates. However, McIntosh said Bigler doesn't give them freely.

"There have been several times where I have requested a little higher dosage and he's said no, we will work through this another way," said McIntosh.

That's why McIntosh was surprised CVS and Walmart decided to stop filling scripts written by Dr. Robert Bigler.

"Why they have picked him out is beyond me," said McIntosh. "I know of no other doctors that are going through this."

However, something similar happened to Pain Management Dr. Anthony Mimms in Indianapolis. He ended up suing CVS for defamation. He won a million dollars in trial court but the decision was overturned on May 9. Another trial has been requested.

"He follows the guidelines," said Beth Carter.

Carter also goes to Dr. Bigler. She's been denied at Walmart Pharmacy.

"And I asked them why and they said, 'well we are not subject, we can't tell you that,'" said Carter.

Telling patients why, could open pharmacies up to another defamation lawsuit. However, McIntosh thinks the public deserves transparency.

"There has to be a reason why they're doing that so let us know at least what it is, pay me that courtesy," said McIntosh.

Walmart refused to comment on the matter.

CVS said it has a program in place to identify prescribers who exhibit extreme patterns of prescribing high risk drugs such as pain medications. It said in some cases, following a thorough investigation, CVS may suspend the dispensing of controlled substances they write. However, they won't confirm specific doctors and the results of those investigations.

McIntosh is currently going to Payless for his prescriptions, Carter is getting hers from Walgreens. However, what if more pharmacies follow suit? Will other local doctors be added to the list?

"I really hope not, that's going to make a big mess," said McIntosh.

If getting prescribed pain pills at the pharmacy gets more difficult, some fear patients will turn to the streets instead.

"It's already happening as a result of what is going on," said McIntosh. "They can buy it cheaper on the street, the drug is stronger, it's more potent."

"I've seen people do it and it's scary. And I don't want to lose no more friends to that," said Carter.

Dr. Bigler's office refused to comment on the matter. According to the Indiana Board of Pharmacy, there are no formal complaints against Dr. Robert Bigler. His license to prescribe is still active.

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