– Moving with alacrity on a matter of
public health and safety, the New Jersey Division
of Consumer Affairs today issued an Order
of the Director requiring CVS officials to
provide information under oath, including
extensive documentation, about a recent incident
in which the CVS pharmacy in Chatham reportedly
mixed breast cancer medication in with prescription
fluoride tablets meant for children in as
many as 50 families, potentially over the
course of several weeks.
have taken immediate action to determine
how many families may have been impacted
by this potentially dangerous situation
and how we can best address this with the
pharmacy to identify those families and
prevent any harm to children going forward,"
said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.
"We want to get the word out to the
public so that we can reach any residents
in the area who may have been given the
Order, signed today by Thomas R. Calcagni,
Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs,
requires that the corporate holder of the
Controlled Dangerous Substances registration
for the CVS pharmacy in Chatham, and all
other persons with knowledge of the reported
incident, appear before him and submit to
an inquiry under oath on Friday, March 9,
Order further requires that CVS representatives
provide certified copies of all communications,
complaints, and information pertaining to
the incident, including internal communications
between the pharmacy and corporate headquarters,
investigative documents, and records of
corrective actions taken after the incident.
The company also is ordered to provide copies
of all original prescriptions dispensed
for Tamoxifen or 0.5 mg fluoride from December
1, 2011 through March 1, 2012, inventory
receipts for both drugs delivered to the
pharmacy between those dates, and other
documents important to the Division's inquiry.
pharmacy customers receive medications other
than those prescribed, especially for their
children, the public has a clear expectation
that regulatory authorities will act quickly
to ascertain the facts and the scope of
any lapses that may have occurred,"
said Director Calcagni. “CVS has admitted
mistakenly dispensing breast cancer medication
in lieu of fluoride tablets intended for
children. Public safety implications compel
an examination of the safety controls in
place, not just for these drugs but for
all others including those classified as
Controlled Dangerous Substances."
Division of Consumer Affairs recently reorganized
its Enforcement Bureau to be more proactive
in its mission to seek out and stop prescription
drug abuse and diversion, including inspecting
pharmacies to ensure appropriate safeguards
are in place. Director Calcagni noted that
the Division's Enforcement Bureau, Pharmacy
Inspection Section, is investigating this
who believe their child may have ingested
the wrong medication are urged to immediately
call their child’s physician. Concerns
about the improper use of medication can
also be referred to the New Jersey Poison
Information and Education System at 1-800-222-1222.
For emergencies, dial 911.
Calcagni urged any consumers who believe
they were affected by the activities of
the CVS in Chatham to call the Division
of Consumer Affairs’ Consumer Service
Center hotline, 800-242-5846
(toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.
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