Pharmacist says he warned against drugs for Smith

LOS ANGELES (AP) - October 22, 2009

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 in a Florida hotel in 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.

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 others to pick up the prescriptions, and when he first knew her she was dealing with a doctor whose practice was later taken over by Kapoor, he 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. He said Eroshevich had passed the request to Kapoor, who faxed it to Freeman.

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.

Kapoor kept prescribing drugs to her after that but in smaller doses, Freeman said.

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