NJ Pharmacy Mistakenly Dispensed Cancer Drug to Kids

November 30, 2012

1161455_pills.jpgChicago medical malpractice attorneys at Pintas & Mullins are shocked to learn that a New Jersey pharmacy mistakenly distributed the cancer drug Tamoxifen to children, instead of the prescribed fluoride pills.

The pharmacy admitted that it mistakenly distributed the cancer drug instead of fluoride tablets to the children of 50 families over a period of more than two months. Only some of the children who received the wrong pills ingested them.

Officials said that the two pills are similar in appearance but distinctively differ in taste. While dentists usually prescribe fluoride for children to help keep tooth decay at bay, Tamoxifen is prescribed to treat breast cancer and obstructs the female hormone estrogen.

The fluoride pills may be flavored since they are supposed to be chewed, but Tamoxifen is to be swallowed and so nothing would be done to make it taste good. So, if a child were to take the Tamoxifen drug, he would most probably either tell his parents about the bad taste or want to spit it out.

Officials also say that although prescription errors of this kind are rare occurrences, they could be regarded as significant learning tools to ensure that similar problems do not crop up in future.

The state attorney general's office started a preliminary inquiry into the issue. Its consumer affairs division ordered the pharmacy to explain how the error occurred and to provide the names and contact information of its employees along with other information that had some bearing on the drug mix-up.

The pharmacy, based in Rhode Island, managed the second-largest group of drugstores in the U.S, after Walmart.

In related news, reports indicate that a woman was puzzled by the marked change in her behavior over a period of about two months. She would fall asleep at her desk, and once slept through most of the weekend.
The woman realized the actual reason for her problems only when she went to her pharmacy in Ohio, requesting a prescription re-fill for the allergy drug Claritin.

The pharmacy looked up the woman's name and told her that they didn't have her on Claritin. She then told them that she was indeed taking Claritin. She even contacted her son to get the prescription number from the bottle.

The woman was shocked when the pharmacy revealed to her that they were not filling Claritin for her but rather had her on a pill for her nerves.

The pharmacy said that someone misread the woman's doctor's prescription. The prescription was written in cursive, and the "C" and "L" in Claritin appeared to be a big "A." Under this mistaken notion, they gave her an anti-anxiety drug called Ativan, the nerve pill they were referring to.

The woman was lucky to be alive. Two years ago, another Ohio pharmacy received a prescription for Ambien, a sleep aid. However, the pharmacy gave the patient a diabetes drug called Glimepride instead. Three months after receiving the wrong drug, the patient died.

If you or someone you love suffered because of a pharmacy error, you deserve to be compensated. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer to explore your full range of legal options.