CVS Pharmacy is under fire for mistakenly handing out breast cancer medication instead of fluoride tablets to children in Trenton, NJ.
Officials at CVS Caremark acknowledged the mistake, saying they discovered that a number of children in the area had accidentally received Tamoxifen, an estrogen-blocking cancer treatment, instead of the fluoride they had been prescribed to fight tooth decay.
The pharmacy does not know exactly how many children were given the wrong prescription between December of last year and February 20, but they estimate that up to 50 families could have been affected.
The two tablets are similar in size, shape and color, but the fluoride pills are meant to be chewed. Tamoxifen is usually swallowed, and the difference in taste may have been a factor in discovering the error.
Pharmaceutical expert Daniel Hussar, a professor with the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences, said that it is unlikely the mistake will cause long-term health problems for the children.
CVS Caremark released a statement on Friday saying that the company was "deeply sorry for the mistake that occurred." Company investigators have not yet determined the cause of the error.
The affected families have reported no injuries or illnesses.
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