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A CVS in Chatham, New Jersey has admitted to accidentally giving dozens of children the breast cancer medication taxomifen instead of the fluoride pills they had been prescribed, for a period of two months.

Between Dec. 20 and Feb. 20, the Main Street pharmacy mixed up 0.5 mg. fluoride tablets with 20 mg. tamoxifen tablets. Both are small, round and white, but the fluoride pills are stamped "SCI" and "1007," according to drugs.com, while the tamoxifen pills are imprinted with "M" and "247." –NJ.com

It is not clear why this happened or how the mistake was finally discovered. So far, no reports of ill effects or injury have surfaced, although tamofixen has some serious side effects including blood clots, strokes and cataracts.

CVS said they have contacted all of the families whose children were involved in the mix-up to let them know about it and apologize. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has also gotten involved and has ordered CVS to turn over all communications, complaints and information related to the incident, in hopes of preventing a similar accident in the future.

I think it goes without saying that this sort of accident should never, ever happen—particularly to children (not one child but about 50!) and particularly for the extended period of time that it occurred. The lack of oversight that must have allowed such a mistake to go on for so long is staggering.

2 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Lesley McMillan

    What's the difference? Fluoride causes hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, hip fractures, bone cancer, hormonal cancers, kidney cancers - may as well give your children arsenic. Since being diagnosed with low thyroid activity 4 yrs ago my thyroid TSH levels have returned to normal simply by avoiding fluoridated water and all products made from it. My dry scaly skin has gone, I no longer have irritable urinary tract issues and I am no longer overweight. Fluoride has been known to affect the thyroid since 1930's when doctors used to prescribe it for patients with over active thyroid glands. Living in the middle of Melbourne we have been forced to spend $10K on filtered rain water tanks and plumbing into the house - in a true democratic society everybody would have a choice and you would not need to do this in order to remain healthy.

  2. Gravatar for Mike Ferrara

    Dear Ms. McMillan. First, thanks for reading my blog. Thanks for pointing out the harm from using fluoride. I specifically use Tom's of Maine toothpaste because it is fluoride free. Hopefully you're not saying that giving a breast cancer drug to a child by mistake is OK. I feel that wrongdoers like CVS have to be personally responsible for the harms they cause. Don't you agree? Thanks again.

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