A pharmacist testified Thursday that he refused to provide drugs prescribed to Anna Nicole Smith, telling a doctor the prescriptions would be "pharmaceutical suicide" for the former Playboy model.
Ira Freeman said a fax requesting several drugs came from Dr. Sandeep Kapoor on behalf of Smith's psychiatrist, Dr. Khristina Eroshevich, five months before Smith died of an accidental drug overdose of at least nine prescription drugs in a Florida hotel in early 2007.
"I called Dr. Kapoor," Freeman said. "I said, 'This is crazy. This is pharmaceutical suicide. The dosages are way out of whack.' I said I wouldn't fill it and no pharmacy in California would."
The hearing, which is in its second week, will determine whether Kapoor, Eroshevich and Smith's boyfriend-lawyer Howard K. Stern will stand trial for conspiring to illegally provide Smith with controlled substances.
All three have pleaded not guilty. They are not charged in the death of Smith.
Freeman said he had been dealing with Smith for years through his pharmacy, usually issuing prescriptions to her under the name of Michelle Chase, a pseudonym used to protect her privacy.
She always sent other people, including Stern, to pick up the prescriptions, Freeman said.
Under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose, Freeman gave a long list of painkillers that had been prescribed to Smith over the years.
He said the one prescription he refused to fill was a request on Sept. 15, 2006, for six drugs, including opiates and the painkiller methadone.
Freeman said he recalled thinking that "if she got a hold of these medications, it could have fatal consequences."
He said he called a friend, a drug expert named Gregory Thompson, and asked him to speak with Eroshevich, who was with Smith in the Bahamas.
Prosecutors displayed an enlarged, hand-written letter sent by Eroshevich to Kapoor introducing herself and asking him for the six medications: Dilaudid, Lorazapam (also known as Ativan), Soma, Dalmane, Prexige and methodone.
During cross-examination by Kapoor's attorney, Ellyn Garofalo, Freeman said he never had reason to question previous prescriptions by Kapoor.
Outside court, Garofalo said Kapoor did not know Eroshevich and simply forwarded the requests for medication because she was treating Smith in the Bahamas.
Kapoor kept prescribing drugs to Smith after that but in smaller doses, Freeman testified.
Two more pharmacists testified Thursday about Eroshevich's prescriptions for Smith. And Department of Justice investigator Danny Santiago related his interview with Thompson after Smith's death.
He said Thompson, former director of the poison control and drug information center at the University of Southern California, called the dosages requested by Eroshevich "outrageously high."
"He said they would work on an addict under supervised care, a dying cancer patient or if you were gong to kill someone," Santiago testified.
Thompson told him one of the drugs, Dilaudid, was known as "hospital heroin," Santiago said.
Santiago also said he interviewed Bahamian doctors who were present at the 2006 birth of Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, and visited Smith afterward. One of them, Dr. Pablo DeSouza, said he warned Eroshevich about giving Smith drugs, Santiago said.
On cross-examination, Santiago said Thompson told him Eroshevich was trying to do the right thing for Smith but was not familiar with the drugs she was prescribing.