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Walgreens Gives Colorado Boy Adult Dosage of Medication

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law
Posted on Jan 02, 2012

A mother in Colorado is outraged after her local Walgreen’s was responsible for her child’s medication overdose. 

The mistake took place last week in Aurora, CO, when Cher Gillespie filled her son's usual prescription for Singulair at her neighborhood Walgreen’s.  Her 4-year-old boy, A.J., had suffered from asthma since the day he was born and took the tablet form of the drug. 

Gillespie picked up the order and gave the medication to her son as always.  When she gave it to A.J., however, he said that it tasted terrible.  The remark prompted Gillespie to double-check the medication: to her surprise, the label description didn’t match the pill in the bottle. 

When she called Walgreens to find out why they didn't fill her son's regular prescription, she found out that he had received Singulair, but in an adult dose—nearly three times stronger than what A.J. had been prescribed. 

"It's really scary because you put the life of your child pretty much in the pharmacist's hands," Gillespie told reporters. 

Walgreens released a boilerplate statement in response to the incident: 

"Cases like this are rare and we take them very seriously. We're sorry this occurred and we apologized to the family. We have a multi-step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error. We will investigate what happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again."

According to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, seven different Walgreens stores in Colorado have received the board’s disciplinary action this year.

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