Walgreens loses $25.8M in Florida lawsuit

Full story: KUSA Denver 27
A jury awarded $25.8 million Friday to the family of a cancer patient who was given a wrong prescription, had a stroke and died several years later, lawyers said. Full Story
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Carl

Fort Collins, CO

#1 Aug 18, 2007
Right. Of course they are going to appeal. A bit company makes a mistake, the family hits the jackpot...along with the lawyers. The award will not change anything that happened to this lady.
g-man

Denver, CO

#2 Aug 18, 2007
The #1 cause of death in the US,medical treatment.
What

Washington, DC

#3 Aug 18, 2007
What happen to the pharmcist who should have checked the prescription? How can the technician be blamed for this mistake anyway? This was an unfortunate incident that should not have happened but mistake do occur with devastating outcomes.
john

Aurora, CO

#4 Aug 19, 2007
no kidding, who was doing the double check? Some time ago I was getting my prescriptions filled at a little pharmacy when I noticed the pharmacist was acting a little strange, and found my prescription was short some pills. Then another time I noticed one of my prescriptions had my name, but the medication and dosage wasn't mine. I got it straighted out, but reported the pharmacy and the pharmacist. Then even later I went in and found a whole new crew in the place and found out the pharmacist had commited suicide - he had been a junkie and been embezzling and screwing up for quite a while. yes, indeed, there should be checks and balances.
What wrote:
What happen to the pharmcist who should have checked the prescription? How can the technician be blamed for this mistake anyway? This was an unfortunate incident that should not have happened but mistake do occur with devastating outcomes.
koolie

Aurora, CO

#5 Aug 19, 2007
this story doesn't make sense - how does a cerebral hemorrhage cause cancer to come back with a vengeance???
Harmoni

Littleton, CO

#6 Aug 19, 2007
koolie wrote:
this story doesn't make sense - how does a cerebral hemorrhage cause cancer to come back with a vengeance???
I have a feeling that the wrong dose caused both the cancer recurrence AND the cerebral hemorrhage... rather than one causing the other
Harmoni

Littleton, CO

#7 Aug 19, 2007
"We're truly sorry for what the Hippely family has been through, and we've personally apologized to them," Walgreens spokeswoman Carol Hively said in a statement. "We have been, and continue to be, the leader in pharmacy safety initiatives. We had hoped the verdict would have been fair and reasonable."

This IS fair and reasonable -- and I agre with those questioning the double check of the pharmacist!
GetREAL

Platteville, CO

#8 Aug 19, 2007
You can do some idiot checks of your prescriptions. Different dosages are different colors and often the dosage, in micrograms, or milligrams, is embossed on the coating. Understand what your doctor said, look for the dosage number and if a chronic prescription changes color or size upon refill, ask questions.

As to the jury award in this case....ridiculous, pathetic, bad, too large, nonsensical, irrational... I could go on.
Just My Opinion

Littleton, CO

#9 Aug 19, 2007
The article states: "Beth Hippely was prescribed Warfarin, a blood thinner, in 2002 to treat breast cancer"
I don't know where you are getting your facts (9 news or the AP) but Warfarin or Coumadin is a blood thinner, not a direct cancer treatment.
This isn't the first time Walgreen's has lost a major suit either, so the spokeswoman saying "We have been, and continue to be, the leader in pharmacy safety initiatives" is not true.
Walgreens, K-Mart and Eckerd pharmacies are always in the news. Google it and find out for yourselves.
The state of Florida does not require their technicians to be licensed; no matter how much exp. this tech had, she (in theory) is to be supervised at all times by a licensed pharmacist.
Where I feel for this family, I agree with a previous poster: know what your doctor's are prescribing for you! Yes, they should have sued but no amount of money is going to bring that victim back. 25 million is very excessive, in my opinion.
Medical mistakes are a fact of life, but be proactive and know what is going on around you!

“Tired of working for a living”

Since: Aug 07

chicago

#10 Aug 19, 2007
I am an employee at walgreens and yes mistakes do happen! The technician shouldn't be put at blame,the Pharmasist put alot on their shoulders and it is their job to check and double check their prescriptions. I have gotten the wrong medicine many times. I even got someone else's meds. Sonetimes when they get a new manufactorer and the meds look a little different they are suppose to put a label on the bottle stating so and also infor the patient about the change. But that doesn't always happen. They are in a hurry to get the prescriptions filled because corp gives them a time limit that they should follow,though corp will say no they do! They will want to know why a customer has to wait to long,why wasn't flavoring offered and so on. They want the business of the consumer but just make sure you work fast!
Just My Opinion

Littleton, CO

#11 Aug 19, 2007
Debbie-W wrote:
I am an employee at walgreens and yes mistakes do happen! The technician shouldn't be put at blame,the Pharmasist put alot on their shoulders and it is their job to check and double check their prescriptions. I have gotten the wrong medicine many times. I even got someone else's meds. Sonetimes when they get a new manufactorer and the meds look a little different they are suppose to put a label on the bottle stating so and also infor the patient about the change. But that doesn't always happen. They are in a hurry to get the prescriptions filled because corp gives them a time limit that they should follow,though corp will say no they do! They will want to know why a customer has to wait to long,why wasn't flavoring offered and so on. They want the business of the consumer but just make sure you work fast!
Sounds like you need another job. Go apply somewhere else where they are focused on taking care of the customers and not meeting a quota on shoving as many rxs out the door as they can. You are offering life-saving and life-rendering services, you are not working at a fast food restaraunt.
People are willing to wait longer for a steak than an rx, but people at the receiving end of getting a prescription should be given the correct med every time. Bottom line!

“Tired of working for a living”

Since: Aug 07

chicago

#12 Aug 19, 2007
I totally agree with you. But until people start complaining and boycotting nothing will be done.
Jennifer

Windsor, Canada

#13 Mar 29, 2008
They shouldnt be sued for that much. Ridiculous.

“We're all screwed now”

Level 1

Since: Jul 07

Colorado high country

#14 Mar 29, 2008
GetREAL wrote:
You can do some idiot checks of your prescriptions. Different dosages are different colors and often the dosage, in micrograms, or milligrams, is embossed on the coating. Understand what your doctor said, look for the dosage number and if a chronic prescription changes color or size upon refill, ask questions.
As to the jury award in this case....ridiculous, pathetic, bad, too large, nonsensical, irrational... I could go on.
No need to go on, common sense should be utilized when taking your meds., driving your car or eating food, unfortunately America has slipped out of common sense and into no sense at all.
Stop laying so much trust in the medical community and use your head a little. I work in the medical field and it never ceases to amaze me how many people lay 100% trust in their doctor and associated medical personnel. Why people trust doctors and pharmacists so much is beyond me.
Check your medications, question your doctor/pharmacist, get a second opinion or use a different pharmacy if something seems strange. The poster who told us of the pharmacist who was a junkie and killed himself has way more patience than I do. If they got my script wrong once, I would have switched to a different pharmacy.
A little common sense would have averted this tragedy if the stupid pharmacy would have had a system in place to double and even triple check their process. What Walgreen's does with their count em' up and shove em' out process is only putting people's lives in danger and it is setting them up for more frivolous lawsuits. A check and balance process is easy to do and does not take up any more time or waste any time of the customer. Even though the family has expierenced a loss, they should have been more diligent in checking their meds and knowing what they are taking. I do not put a single pill in my mouth unless I dump out the whole bottle, look them over and make sure they are what I take. Don't just blindly put things into your body, this is what happens when you do.

The above poster who stated that warfarin and coumadin are blood thinners is right. Both are what's called an anticoagulant, which is not a cancer treatment.

“We're all screwed now”

Level 1

Since: Jul 07

Colorado high country

#15 Mar 29, 2008
Geez, I gotta start checking the dates on stuff. Who keeps draggin' this old crap up?
BD in Arizona

United States

#16 Apr 14, 2008
Carl wrote:
Right. Of course they are going to appeal. A bit company makes a mistake, the family hits the jackpot...along with the lawyers. The award will not change anything that happened to this lady.
your right the money received will not bring back the person they have lost, but it
pay for medical bills, funernal and burial costs, raising kids as a single mome, clothes, school book and uniforms, not to mention food, car, gas for the car, insurance for that car, a home insurance on that home, day care if now for ex: it is mom now has to go to work and leve the kids sith a sitter. then there is ther future needs cars for them. college tutoion, books, lab fees dorms. I beliebe when people sur for money when they have lost someone it is for two reasons 1) to get there case heard in civil court and in teh paper so everyone can no what this person has done to their family and get some satisfaction 2) to get money for the reasons i mentioned above. I know 2 people this has happen to and neither ouw a NY penthouse or are sunning them selves at Cabo or skilig in Valle, THey live in modest home doind day to day cook, homework path bed, she lays down at night in a mpty bed and cries her self to sleep each not. THe only time she ever thinls about that money is when the Car breaks down and she needs 3k to fix it then she says a prayer to god to thank him for supplying what she needed to get on the best way she could without her huband.So they next time you want to say tney are all money ggrubby people go befriend someone who has suffered and see if she offers you a cup in her modest living room instead of champagne on her yacht. Signed Angry about Assumptions
FoonTheElder

Green Bay, WI

#17 Apr 14, 2008
Most drug stores make 80% of their profits at the pharmacy, but they refuse to hire enough people to handle the load or pay the techs a living wage.

Yes, mistakes happen when you are running around trying to fill prescriptions, answer phones, handle insurance, run the register, etc., because the big shots at corporate headquarters can chisel a few dollars into their bonuses by not hiring adequate people.

Most of these companies have decided that they can make more money by saving a few dollars an hour on people, than it will end up costing in lawsuits.

It is the pharmacy's responsibility to make sure you get the right medication. If they can't do that then they better find out what the problem is, or else face lawsuits with big awards, when they knew about the problems and did nothing to fix it.

“We're all screwed now”

Level 1

Since: Jul 07

Colorado high country

#18 Apr 14, 2008
Well said, and I agree 100%.
Loretta

Saint Petersburg, FL

#19 Apr 27, 2008
i received the wrong medication in early 2004 from walgreens the dr. wrote out the right perscription the pharmacy girl made the error i almost died and there was nothing done about it, the insurance company did settle for it but i am not sure what they settled for my attorney is hiding somthing and he will not tell me what he settled for. he only paid me a few bucks he said there is nothing to settle because there is no money to be made how true is this.
Chuck

Spring Hill, FL

#20 Apr 30, 2008
Loretta wrote:
i received the wrong medication in early 2004 from walgreens the dr. wrote out the right perscription the pharmacy girl made the error i almost died and there was nothing done about it, the insurance company did settle for it but i am not sure what they settled for my attorney is hiding somthing and he will not tell me what he settled for. he only paid me a few bucks he said there is nothing to settle because there is no money to be made how true is this.
You should probably find out, it is your right...

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