(CHATHAM, N.J.) — Parents in Chatham, N.J., are expressing outrage and concern after a CVS pharmacy mistakenly gave them a drug used to fight cancer instead of fluoride pills for their children’s teeth.
The parents who came to the CVS pharmacy on Main Street were actually bringing home tamoxifen—a powerful drug to fight breast cancer.
Somehow, the mix up went on undetected for at least two months and maybe longer.
“It’s something that’s very disheartening to see that happen and who knows what else they did wrong,” said parent Davin Clark.
For its part, CVS Caremark released this statement to ABC News:
“The health and safety of our customers is our highest priority and we are deeply sorry for the mistake that occurred at our Chatham, NJ pharmacy. Beginning last week, we have contacted or have left messages for every family whose child was dispensed a 0.5 mg fluoride prescription from our Chatham location within the past 60 days.
Fortunately, most of the families we have spoken to did not indicate that their children received any incorrect pills. We will continue to follow up with families who believe that their children may have ingested incorrect medication.
CVS/pharmacy has industry-leading pharmacy systems and processes designed to enhance the safety of the prescription filling process, including inventory controls that keep similar-looking medications in separate areas, such as fluoride tablets and tamoxifen. We are actively investigating this matter to determine how the mistake occurred in order to take corrective actions to prevent this from happening again.
Prescription errors are a rare occurrence, however since any process involving people is not immune from the possibility of human error, we are committed to continually improving quality measures to help ensure that prescriptions are dispensed safely and accurately.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Catherine E. Shoichet, Max Blau and Steve Almasy, CNN
Julia Horowitz, CNN