Man says Wal-Mart pharmacy mistake nearly destroyed his life

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by Rucks Russell/11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 6:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 24 at 8:13 AM

LAKE JACKSON, Texas— A man claims a Wal-Mart pharmacy gave him the wrong medication and it cost him dearly.  

“I’ve lost my job because of this and lost my ability to trust my pharmacy,” said Todd Beathard.

The lifelong bipolar patient said taking medication is a way of life. Beathard relies on an anti-psychotic medication called Seroquel to help regulate his moods. Last year, his doctor wrote him a new prescription decreasing his dosage.

Beathard claims a Wal-Mart pharmacy mistakenly gave him an anti-depressant called Sertraline instead.

“And all I could do for six months is just stare at the walls and sleep,” he said.

Eventually he stopped working and confronted his doctor about his condition. That’s when he says he discovered the mistake.

“I’m just so frustrated about this,” Beathard said.

His attorney wants the retail giant to compensate Beathard for all that he has been through.

“Right now, they’re not even showing concern, and that means something like this could happen again,” said Jason Gibson, of the Gibson Law Firm.

A local pharmaceutical professor calls these kinds of mistakes a common occurrence.

“They happen all the time, and often result when things get busy and someone isn’t paying attention to what they’re doing,” said Dr. Flora Estes, an assistant dean at the Texas Southern University School of Pharmacy.

Greg Lassiter, a Wal-Mart spokesperson, said the company is still sorting out the facts.

“While miss-fills are a rare occurrence, even one is too many. We’re looking into this to determine what exactly happened,” he said.

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