If a doctor or nurse makes an error we are shocked because we hold the utmost trust in them. But when a pharmacist makes a medication error that could potentially harm our children, most parents would be very concerned because they are the last line of defense in the prevention of errors. While we all understand that mistakes happen, many of us feel that there should be safeguards in place to prevent this type of error.
The error was discovered as medication was mistakenly distributed to a few children who were prescribed fluoride pills, but were accidentally given a breast cancer treatment drug Tamoxifen at a Chatham, New Jersey, pharmacy.
The pharmacy suspects that approximately 50 families were affected by the mix-up, but pharmaceutical experts believe that the children will not suffer any health problems from taking the medication because it was only used for a short period of time.
CVS has taken full responsibility for the incident and has contacted the families that were involved. The company issued an apology, but did not explain how the mistake happened. A formal investigation is under way and the pharmacy has been asked to explain the mistake, provide the names of all employees at that location along with emails, telephone calls, complaints and any other information that might relate back to the mix-up. The investigation will also look into whether any laws had been violated.
A company spokesperson said that they are also conducting their own investigation into the matter and will determine how the mistake occurred and take corrective action to make sure that this does not happen again.
Source: MSNBC.com, "CVS missed kids' pills with cancer drug," Bruce Shipkowski, Mar. 4, 2012