“Cases like this are rare and we take them very seriously. “

Woman says pharmacy pill mixup nearly killed her



An Orlando woman said a trip to a pharmacy for a prescription put her in a hospital and nearly killed her.
She said she was supposed to get an antihistamine for allergies but wound up in a hospital.
Lettree Battey, 78, said the same doctor has prescribed the same medication and she has had it filled at the same Walgreens pharmacy on South Orange Blossom Trail in the past.
She said when she went to pick up her latest prescription for the generic form of Zyrtec, she didn’t expect to get something else.
“It seems like the fellow couldn’t understand my doctor’s handwriting,” Battey said.
It turns out, the medicine she got at the pharmacy wasn’t the one she said has been on file since at least 2011, but rather was a medicine for diabetics and is used to lower blood sugar.
“My blood sugar’s usually up in the 90s, but my blood sugar after the medication, it dropped to 30,” said Battey.
The drugs’ spellings did look similar on the paperwork that Channel 9’s Janai Norman saw.
Battey said that after taking the generic form of a drug known as Glucotrol, the piano instructor began feeling dizzy. She said she was slurring her words and was so lethargic that her piano students called their parents.
“I would’ve gone to bed because I felt tired, and probably would’ve gone into a coma,” Battey said.
Battey said she ran up almost $15,000 in medical bills, for what doctors ruled a poisoning.
Her attorney, Thomas Nicholl, said what happened to his client happens frequently.
“Sometimes with pretty disastrous results, as you can imagine,” Nicholl said.
Battey said the Walgreens store did refund money and gave her the correct prescription, but she said she is not satisfied with that because of the serious nature of the mistake,.
“Right now I’m thankful that I’m here,” she said.
Nicholl said he plans to file a complaint against the Walgreens pharmacy in the next week.

Walgreens sent the following statement to Eyewitness News:

“Cases like this are rare and we take them very seriously.  In the event there is an error with a prescription, our first concern is for the patient’s well-being. We’re sorry this occurred and have apologized to the patient.

We have a multi-step prescription filling process with numerous safety checks in each step to reduce the chance of human error and have reviewed the process with our pharmacy staff.  We encourage patients to check with our pharmacists or their health care provider if they have a question or concern about their medications.”

6 Responses

  1. I can attest to this..I worked at Walgreens for several years..Several times (that I was made aware of), the person received the wrong medication..I remember someone getting an allergy medication, instead of her heart medication–she didn’t realize for a week..That could have ended up as a needless death..Pharmacists have a quota to fill a certain # of scripts an hour..Sometimes, they get busy answering questions on the phone, in person, etc..And, they don’t want anyone to have to wait..I think it’s better to put a person on hold on the phone or have the customer wait, until the pharmacist is done checking that the medication is correct..The multi-tasking and quotas per hour lead to more mistakes.

  2. Rare: not occurring very often, uncommon.

    Sometimes: occasionally, rather than all of the time.

  3. As pointed out medication errors can be deadly and should require investigation into the how and why.

    • If they did investigate.. it would come back just like a pilot and a plane crash.. the Pharmacist/pilot made a error. Nearly 100% of the Board of Pharmacies see no relationship between under staffing and med errors and besides it is the PIC’s responsibility to make sure that the Rx dept is legally operated and making med errors is a violation of the practice act. But the employer dictates how many man hours that can be used in the Rx dept.. and every other thing that affects with work environment.

  4. they looked like my pain medicine they were a little smaller I would of never noticed if my wife did not wonder why I was acting so strange on my medicine I also talked to some one and they said it could of been something they call pinching that is when a tec or helper try’s to steal medicine hoping it will not be noticed

  5. I have had medicine mixed up they gave me add drugs that turned me into a nut case , and wife said she was afraid of me there was two incidence

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