March 18, 2009
Posted: 10:22 AM ET
NEW YORK–Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, Anna Nicole Smith’s psychiatrist, has just turned herself in to authorities in Los Angeles on charges that she conspired to over-prescribe medications to Smith, knowing that she was an addict. Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, who allegedly prescribed thousands of pills to Anna Nicole in the final years of her life, and Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole’s boyfriend and lawyer, have also turned themselves in.
Anna Nicole Smith with Howard K. Stern outside the U.S. Supreme Court which heard arguments in a legal case regarding the estate of her late husband on Feb. 28, 2006
Relentless cable coverage of this story followed her death, but this time, in my view, it’s a story worth covering. Prescription drug abuse is a growing and real problem in this country. Many people feel, as apparently Smith did, that they are safe taking drugs as long as they have a doctor’s note and the drugs come from a pharmacy. Wrong. Forty-three percent of drug overdoses in America are from prescription meds. Far too many medicines are prescribed in this country, in my opinion, with little oversight as to their safety.
The complaint alleges that some good pharmacists refused to fill these doctors’ prescriptions to Anna, saying that they were dangerous. The state says the three conspirators then simply went to another pharmacy until they got the drugs they wanted to dispense to Smith.
Six hundred pills are missing from bottles prescribed to Anna Nicole in the five weeks before her death. Yes, she was an adult, responsible for her own actions, but those around her are responsible for their conduct too. Smith had said publicly years before that she was addicted to painkillers. After the sudden death of her son Daniel, in the hospital room where she had just given birth to her new daughter, Anna, understandably, was emotionally devastated. Her doctors had a responsibility not to hand out pills to her like Chiclets at such a delicate time.
Anna was cartoonish in life, but her accidental drug overdose death raises important questions, and I salute California’s attorney general for vigorously pursuing this case.
–Lisa Bloom, In Session anchor
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