Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Pharmacist testifies he refused to fill drug order for Anna Nicole Smith

October 22, 2009 |  1:43 pm

Annanicole A Valley Village pharmacist testified today that he refused to fill a drug order for Anna Nicole Smith the year before her fatal overdose because the quantities of medication requested by her psychiatrist amounted to “pharmaceutical suicide.”

“If she got ahold of these medications, it could have fatal consequences,” pharmacist Ira Freeman told a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge hearing evidence against the psychiatrist, another doctor and Smith’s boyfriend.

Freeman recounted being stunned by the handwritten list of a half-dozen painkillers, muscle relaxants and sedatives faxed to his store Sept. 15, 2006 – just four days after Smith’s son had died.

Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, a psychiatrist who had flown to the Bahamas to treat the model, signed the list and Smith’s Studio City internist, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, forwarded it to the pharmacy, he said.

“This is crazy. This is pharmaceutical suicide,” he recalled telling Kapoor in a phone conversation. He said he was so concerned that he tracked down Smith’s boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, in the Bahamas and arranged through him for Eroshevich to consult by phone with a respected toxicologist.

The toxicologist, Greg Thompson, later told him that he had urged Eroshevich to “forget about the paparazzi and get [Smith] to a hospital,” Freeman recalled.

He said Eroshevich seemed unfamiliar with the medications she was ordering, prescribing eight times the recommended dosage of the hypnotic sedative Dalmane.

“She is way out of her league on this,” he recalled Thompson telling him.

Freeman is among several pharmacists who have testified at an ongoing preliminary hearing for Eroshevich, Kapoor and Stern on charges of illegally providing prescription drugs to Smith. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Eroshevich has said through her lawyer that the drugs she prescribed were part of a well-meaning attempt to care for a difficult patient grappling with grief, postpartum depression and an oppressive media spotlight.

Freeman said that doctors had used a pseudonym – Michelle Chase – to call in orders for methadone for Smith for five years because of her celebrity status. “People go through her garbage,” he quoted one doctor as telling him.

-- Harriet Ryan

Photo: Anna Nicole Smith in 2006. Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press.

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Medical marijuana poll: Most L.A. voters support dispensaries

Dozens of gang members arrested in South L.A. sweep

Schwarzenegger signs bill boosting NFL stadium plans in San Gabriel Valley

City attorney says L.A. 'wasted a lot of dough' on Michael Jackson memorial, defends quest for payment