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Walmart Pharmacy Gave Patient Wrong Prescription—Someone Else’s

David W. Hodges
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

Posted on Oct 07, 2013

Around the end of August, 2013, a Walton County, Georgia mother went to her local Walmart pharmacy to pick up her son’s prescription. She unknowingly was given someone else’s prescription—a prescription meant for another patient who happened to have the same initials as her son. Unfortunately, the pharmacist didn’t catch this error, and then explained to her how the medication should be taken.

Margaret Johnson returned home and gave Justin Johnson, her 15-year-old son, the medication. He was supposed to receive a prescription for antibiotics after getting a tick bite; however, the pharmacy gave him the wrong prescription. He was actually given 400 milligrams of Quetiapine, a generic version of Seroquel, which is an anti-psychotic medication used to treat severe psychiatric disorders in adults.

After Justin took the wrong medication, his mother alleges that he had an immediate reaction. Margaret Johnson said her son was dizzy and vomiting, and she had to take him to the emergency room twice. The doctors informed her that the dosage could have killed her son.

Johnson stated that a woman from Walmart called her the following day. “After apologizing, she offered me a $250 Walmart gift card,” said Johnson, who also stated that the store tried to get her to sign a form to waive their responsibility.

Walmart released this statement, “We have apologized to Ms. Johnson and are disappointed something like this could occur despite systems and controls we have built to prevent it. Even one event of this nature is unacceptable and we deeply regret that it happened.”

Johnson said she wished she would have checked her son’s prescription more carefully, which is why she is now warning others to check their prescriptions.

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