A CVS pharmacy located in northeastern New Jersey made national headlines recently with a major prescription medication error, according to The Washington Post. An administrative order from the New Jersey Attorney General acknowledged that the pharmacy improperly dispensed the “breast cancer fighting drug Tamoxifen instead [of] chewable fluoride tablets to children in as many as 50 families between Dec. 1, 2011 and Feb. 20.” CVS Caremark did not explain how the serious oversight occurred and how the potent cancer drug was mistakenly given to the children instead of the fluoride pills, but says it is “deeply sorry for the mistake that occurred.” Fortunately, there have been no reports of injury.
The company has either contacted or left messages for every family whose child was dispensed a 0.5 mg fluoride prescription in the last two months. The director of public relations for CVS states they will continue to follow up with families who believe their children may have ingested the wrong medication. CVS, based out of Woonsocket, RI, runs the second largest chain of drugstores in the U.S.
Dispensing the incorrect medication to a patient is one of the leading types of medical negligence that can cause serious injury and illness. In 2002, an estimated 100,000 people were given the wrong medication from medical professionals and 7,000 were killed as a result. Children and infants are especially at-risk for health problems due to an incorrect medication being dispensed as they do not have the immune system or chemical tolerance to handle a wrong medicine as well as an adult could. Also, medication dosages are very important due to specific age and weight factors; if the wrong dosage of either is given, an overdose is more likely in children. An estimated one in 18 prescriptions written for children is the wrong dosage or medication.
Prescription errors, such as dispensing the wrong medication, can unfortunately occur in any state and cause significant injury or illness for an innocent patient, turning his or her life upside down. A patient or consumer who has suffered an undue injury has the legal right to pursue compensation from at-fault parties. The Maryland prescription error injury lawyers with the law firm of Alpert Schreyer have extensive experience helping injured patients in Maryland get the compensation they need to recover. For a complimentary consultation, please call (844) 632-7274.