SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Lafayette doctor defends pharmacies for flagging docs

A Lafayette pain management doctor speaks in favor of pharmacies and the decision to deny certain prescriptions.

Posted: May 30, 2018 6:45 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — News 18 is digging deeper into why some pharmacies have stopped filling prescriptions for Lafayette Pain Management Doctor Robert Bigler.

Lafayette Pain Management Dr. Edward Kowlowitz said he appreciates pharmacies for being an extra check on the system. He hopes to help people understand the process.

Pharmacies may have a drive thru, but they don't work like McDonald's.


"It's very different than going to a server at McDonald's and being expected to being served a happy meal with a smile," said Kowlowitz. "They have a responsibility."

They also have a liability. Pharmacies could get in federal trouble for filling prescriptions irresponsibly. That's why we are starting to see pharmacies flagging certain doctors.

"We need to view the pharmacist as an ally as a member of the healthcare delivery team rather than an adversary," said Dr. Kowlowitz.

Kowlowitz isn't worried pharmacies will start denying his prescriptions. He is confident in his decisions to prescribe pain pills.

"A knowledgeable, well trained physician should have the ability to use opioids when all other definitive care has been given to a patient but they're still suffering from pain that limits their functionality,"said Kowlowitz. "You know, having said that, the least amount of of opioid that should accomplish that should be given."

We still don't know why pharmacies like CVS and Walmart have stopped filling Lafayette Dr. Robert Bigler's pain prescriptions. However, we did find some context online. This prescriber checkup website published by Pro-Publica lists the state's top prescribers for each pain medication. Dr. Bigler is the top prescriber in the state for several different pain medications for Medicare claims. 

"What a patient wants isn't necessarily what they should get or what's best for them," said Dr. Kowlowitz. 

Although Kowlowitz helped create the CDC and state guidelines, when it comes to the number of times he checks up on a patient he's more conservative than most.

"The guidelines are that they are evaluated at least every 3 to 4 months," said Kowlowitz. "I think that patients that are on a significant amount of opioids are best monitored on a monthly basis."

If they aren't willing to be seen that often he said they need to find another pain provider. 

"Do you ever fear that they'll turn to the streets?" asked News 18's Kayla Sullivan. 

"I do," responded Kowlowitz. "But we can't be paralyzed by that fear and give people what they want but what's not good for them."

Lafayette
Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 26°
Kokomo
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 21°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Lafayette
Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 26°
Danville
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 17°
Frankfort
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 17°
Monticello
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 24°
Monticello
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 24°
Logansport
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 24°
Ice, Rain & Snow.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events