Walgreens is under fire for allegedly doing this with drugs

If you need medication in the United States, you probably go to one of two places: CVS or Walgreens. Both drugstore chains have been dispensing drugs to Americans across the country for decades now, but that doesn’t mean they’re always doing it right. In fact, Walgreens just had a consumer lawsuit about a major medication error. Read on to find out why the pharmacy is currently under fire.

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Walgreens has previously faced controversy over how it distributes drugs in the United States, both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC). In June, the drug store chain was named in a lawsuit against Missouri consumers alongside CVS. According to the lawsuit, the two companies failed to warn customers of the risks of prenatal exposure to acetaminophen, sold under the Tylenol brand name among others, and instead marketed it as a “safe pain reliever for pregnant women.”

In August, Walgreens faced the heat alone after the state of Tennessee sued the pharmacy chain over its sale of opioids. In his lawsuit, the Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III claimed that Walgreens violated state consumer protection law by failing to monitor its distribution of prescription painkillers. “The volume of opioids Walgreens released in Tennessee was unreasonable and highly suspicious on its face,” the lawsuit said.

Now Walgreens is back in hot water with a drug accident lawsuit.

doctor with a prescription bottle

Walgreens was right slapped with a new trial surrounding major drug issues, NJ.com reported Sept. 28. According to the outlet, the lawsuit was filed by a 54-year-old man Robert J. Adamski, who resides in Ocean County, New Jersey, in Ocean City Superior Court on August 26. Adamski alleges that a Walgreens pharmacy in Toms River gave him the wrong medication. According to the complainant, he went to the store on September 8, 2020 to pick up his prescription for Brilinta, which is a blood thinner that helps prevent clots from forming.

“The prescription provided to him by [Walgreens] was not Brilinta, but another pharmacological medication not prescribed to the plaintiff by his attending physician,” the suit states.

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Walgreens Pharmacy offers health services, vaccinations and advice in the pharmacy section of their store.  View of the pharmacy interior sign from a health aisle.

By NJ.com, James A. Maggs, who is Adamski’s attorney, declined to name what specific drug was allegedly given to the plaintiff instead of Brilinta. But it seems that the alleged change was not trivial. Adamski claims that the medicine he received by mistake made him sick. The lawsuit says he suffered “serious, painful, permanent and disabling injuries” from taking the unknown drug, according to NJ.com. Adamski says he has been unable to work as a result.

Better life has contacted Walgreens about the lawsuit, but has yet to hear back.

old white man holding a prescription bottle

This isn’t the first time Walgreens has been accused of giving customers the wrong medicine. According The New York Timesa 38-year-old man had to be taken to the emergency room in 2018 for swollen and burning eyes after a Walgreens gave him ear drops not eye drops for mild irritation. The following year, a woman in Florida went to the emergency room after having to stop on the freeway because she was short of breath, dizzy and had blurred vision. By The New York TimesWalgreens had given him the correct medication – Adderall – but had mistakenly given him a higher dose of 30 milligrams instead of his usual 20 milligrams.

The problem is not limited to Walgreens. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it receives over 100,000 reports each year associated with a suspected medication error. Unfortunately, the impact could be even greater than that. A comprehensive study by the Institute of Medicine in 2006 estimated that medication errors harm at least 1.5 million Americans every year, The New York Times reported.

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