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    Does videotape support CVS or fired pharmacist?

    That’s the question a Richmond, Va. jury will decide in a case involving a pharmacist who accuses the retail giant of defamation, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    Pharmacist Angela Tuck is seeking more than $8 million in damages from CVS, its regional diversion manager, and the lead coordinator of the chain’s drug loss program team. She alleges CVS had her falsely arrested for allegedly stealing drugs, badmouthed her to colleagues, and then filed erroneous charges against her with state Board of Pharmacy.

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    According to the lawsuit: “[CVS] refused to conduct a proper investigation of the alleged loss or theft of the controlled substance, instead recklessly and/or maliciously defaming plaintiff to her supervisors, store manager, coworkers, local police officers, and the Board of Health/Department of Health Professions.”

    CVS disputes those allegations. “CVS Health is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to respecting the individual rights of all of our colleagues,” Michael J. DeAngelis, a company spokesperson, told Drug Topics. “We dispute the allegations made against the company in this complaint, but we cannot comment further due to this being a matter of pending litigation.”  

    All of the charges against Tuck were eventually dropped, and the pharmacy board ruled in Tuck’s favor. Now, Tuck’s attorneys are using the same videotape CVS used to justify its actions against her to attempt to force the retail chain to pay millions in damages.

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.

    5 Comments

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    • Anonymous
      I have directed pharmacy departments in large acute care hospitals for much of my career and unfortunately I have dealt with many instances of drug diversion. If the story is accurate as written this store manager was way over his head and out of his league and I am amazed an organization the size and complexity of CVS does not have standard operating procedures for conducting potential diversion investigations. Let me help, perhaps they should begin by tracking how many bottles of hydromorphone should be in stock at any given time!
    • GeraldLawrence
      I would not relate this to all chains. CVS is subject to more lawsuits getting publicity than 2 or 3 other chains combined. Yes I did work for them at one time and to say the least upper and middle management are not very cooperative with the Pharmacist. As more of their unfair, unethical , and illegal treatment of professional staff gets more public they are having even more trouble recruiting staff.
    • Michael VincentErcolano
      Typical chain store nonsense. This is what happens when you have laymen in supervisory positions over healthcare professionals. Chain pharmacy is one of the few professions that suffers from this problem. Anyway, I hope her lawsuit is successful and she never has to work again.
    • Anonymous
      After reading the article I find myself rooting for Dr. Tuck too but I don't think any of us got into this line of work to win a lawsuit and retire young. We're here to help others. What you need to do that is your good name and reputation, which seems to have been deliberately trashed by the CVS Manager. Regardless of what happens it's just human nature that wherever in the community she goes in the future someone is going to mention the "diversion" episode. If it were me I'd trade any cash reward for a public castration of the CVS management involved in this sham investigation (as well as a full page apology from CVS' CEO). But that's not going to happen...
    • PaulGarbarini
      Kudos to Drug Topics for publicizing the ABUSE heaped upon pharmacists by the nefarious chains- they are bullies who have met their match- a judge who takes no *&%^ from anybody- they bully/accuse people with no evidence, bully them by making allegedly defamatory statements, then like bullies run to court thinking they can bully the district court judge who tells them their "evidence" can't support probable cause, nonetheless "beyond a reasonable doubt". I hope the defamatory judgement is in the tens of millions! Paul Garbarini, R.Ph, JD Northampton, MA
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