“Pill Mill” v. Pharmacy: Know Your Standards of Care or Face Defamation Allegations


Increasingly stringent U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration constraints and regulatory requirements have opened the door to “pill mill” doctors alleging defamation against pharmacists and retail pharmacies that refuse to fill their prescriptions. It is important for pharmacists to understand the legal ramifications of such allegations and what constitutes tortious interference in a civil suit. Using the landmark holding in LeFrock v. Walgreens and other cases, you’ll discover the extent of privilege between pharmacists and their patients, appropriate and inappropriate statements with regard to refusing to fill a prescription, and more.

Pharmacist Learning Objectives

At the completion of this knowledge-based activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the elements of an action for defamation and tortious interference.
  2. Identify qualified privilege existing between pharmacists and their customers pursuant to the landmark holding in LeFrock v. Walgreens.
  3. Define the extent of privilege and ramifications as it relates to consultation between pharmacist and customer in refusal to fill a prescription.
  4. Discuss standard of care as it relates to consultation between pharmacists and customers regarding refusal to fill with real case examples of statements protected and nonprotected.
Arthur Laplante,
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Kelly Hassenfelt, JD
Senior Counsel
Martin Stern,
Hinshaw & Culbertson
Learning Level: Level 2
Track: Pharmacy Law and Regulations
Session Time Slot(s): 
Sunday, March 18
2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Music City Center - Room 101C-D
ACPE Pharmacist: 0202-0000-18-014-L03-P
CEUs Pharmacist: 0.1
Activity Type: