Mail Order Medication Mix-Up

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, July 31 2012 at 6:15 PM, Updated: Tue, July 31 2012 at 6:58 PM

Katherine Brown suffers from a condition that makes her body retain water and she says it's painful if she doesn't get the medication she needs.

On monday she received her prescription pills in the mail. But the problem? They weren't what she ordered.

"It's not a water pill, it's Prozac," said Brown.

Prozac is used to treat depression. Brown said the bottle it arrived in looked similar to the one she's used to. She said it would be easy to mistake one pill for the other because pills sometimes change shape.

"The only thing that stopped me from taking it is I noticed I didn't get 90-days worth," began Brown

"It's just lucky I caught it," she continued.

She said after multiple calls to Express Scripts, a company that delivers medication, she said the company refused to mail her the right pills because her prescription is now expired. However, she said it doesn't make sense, because she put in the order before the expiration date.    

So NBC 5 News decided to give Express Scripts a call. The spokesman for the company said they plan to right their wrong.

"We understand that we did make an error. So we're taking care of that and making sure the patient will get the medicine she needs. We're also issuing a credit in the amount of her copay so we can take care of any inconvenience she may have had," said Brian Henry, Spokesman for Express Scripts.

Henry also said that errors like this rarely happen. He said the company's accuracy rate is 99.9%.

Back in Gold Hill, upon hearing the news, Brown said she's thrilled. All she wanted was her medication.

According to U.S. Pharmacopeia, there are more than 1400 commonly used drugs with names that look alike which sometimes cause serious errors.

Meantime, The Institute for Safe Medication Practices said eliminating face-to-face interaction makes it easier for mix-ups to happen.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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