Pharmacy Goes to Court Keep Drug Supplier From Stopping Sales

Pharmacy Goes to Court Keep Drug Supplier From Stopping Sales
A Google Street View image of Super Sav Drug in Van Buren. The owner of the drug store is suing its supplier to stop it from cutting off sales of controlled substances. (© Google)

A Van Buren drug store has asked a judge to block its pharmaceutical supplier from cutting off sales of controlled substances, which took effect Nov. 30. 

Manes’ Pharmacy Inc., which operates Super Sav Drug #3 at 2215 Alma Highway, said in Crawford County court filings that it received a letter from AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, that on Dec. 1 it would stop the sale of controlled substances for “unknown arbitrary and capricious reasons.”

The pharmacy wants a judge to issue an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the move.

“Plaintiff is concerned not only about its business, but its customers and patients it serves,” Manes said in its filing.

The dispute began on Nov. 2, when AmerisourceBergen sent a letter to Super Sav Drug and said it was concerned about the drug store’s sales of controlled substances, “which may place both AB and our customer at risk for regulatory action by state and/or federal agencies.”

Some of AmerisourceBergen’s concerns included the pharmacy dispensing controlled substances for chronic pain therapy prescribed by family or general medicine practitioners and dispensing controlled substances to a dentist in large quantities, according to the letter, which Manes filed in the case.

AmerisourceBergen said it would stop selling controlled substances to Super Sav Drug within five days.

Manes' appeared surprised by the letter. The pharmacy said its “protocols are such that opioids and other controlled substances … are safeguarded against abuse by potential customers of Plaintiff.”

Manes' said that on Nov. 4 it sent AmerisourceBergen a four-part plan for how it would safeguard the public. But the plan didn’t sway AmerisourceBergen, which wrote in a Nov. 10 letter to Manes' that it was going to stop all sales of controlled substances.

Manes' said in its lawsuit that it only has enough stock to service customers for the “next several days.”

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge P.K. Holmes III ordered AmerisourceBergen to file its response to Manes’ motion for the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction by noon Friday.

Manes' is represented by the law firm Caddell Reynolds of Fort Smith. AmerisourceBergen is represented by the firms Reed Smith LLP of Pittsburgh and Lax Vaughan Fortson Rowe & Threet of Little Rock.