Pills dropped as gifts in NW Austin stirs controversy

Pharmacy advertisement causes stir

People in a Northwest Austin neighborhood received an unusual gift Tuesday afternoon from a local pharmacy. It was hung around their doorknobs and presented in a clear gift bag.

When residents opened it up, some admitted they were frustrated by what they found.

"There's no way I'm going to take a pill that hangs on my door," said Carla Smith, a neighborhood resident.

Smith reached out to KVUE after she saw a man hanging the bags, which contained Multivitamins from the company Nature's Blend, on her neighbor's door.

Smith expressed her biggest concern was for the children in her neighborhood.

"Within five houses, there might be 15 kids... if mommy and daddy don't go to the door, they're going to find those pills, take them inside and open them up," Smith said.

The pills were distributed by AM Pharmacy. Homes within a quarter-mile radius of their facility received the promotional gifts. Pharmacist Abraham Aseh said he thought it was a good way to reach out to the community.

" Instead of just sending out regular flyers and leaving those in front of people's doors like other businesses do, it's Thanksgiving why not give back," said Aseh.

AM Pharmacy has been in business four months. The vitamins were free samples given to them by a wholesaler; they're also sealed in child-proof bottles, according to Aseh.

"I really apologize, if there's anything that I can do personally. If you want us to come back and take our gift bags we'll come out," Aseh said.

Austin Police affirmed nothing criminal took place Tuesday, but they did remove the bags from the homes in the neighborhood.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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