A couple is suing Walgreens for wrongful death. The Missouri couple is claiming that the woman miscarried her baby because a Walgreens pharmacy accidentally gave her a chemotherapy drug instead of the prenatal vitamin that a doctor had prescribed her.
Instead of being given the prenatal vitamin Materna, a Walgreens pharmacy in O’Fallon, Missouri gave her Matulane, which is used to treat Hodgkin’s disease. The Physicians’ Desk Reference and Walgreens.com both say that Matulane can cause fetal harm in pregnant women.
Chanda Givens, who was pregnant at the time, suffered skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, vision changes, neurological symptoms, lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and chills after taking the drug that she thought was a prenatal vitamin. She took the drug for a few weeks.
When she went to a doctor, a medical exam revealed that the baby was not developing properly. She later miscarried the baby. Her wrongful death lawsuit says that her miscarriage was “a direct and proximate result of the misfill of the prescription for a prenatal vitamin with a potent and toxic chemotherapy drug. Givens and her husband are blaming Walgreens for failing to properly fill the prescription. They say that the pharmacy should have double checked with her doctor as to why a pregnant woman would even take a chemotherapy drug.
The Givens are seeking personal injury damages, including medical costs greater than $75,000 and punitive damages greater than $75,000. The Givens do not want to settle and want to take their wrongful death case to trial.
Pharmacists have a medical responsibility to provide all patients with the proper prescription medication. Giving someone the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of medication, or someone else’s medication can have grave consequences on a person’s health and can lead to a number of serious injuries, including miscarriage, organ damage, strokes, and death.
Common causes for pharmacy misfill errors include pharmacist inexperience, carelessness, negligence, or misreading a prescription note.
Suit faults prescription mistake for miscarriage, STLtoday.com, October 17, 2007
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