Ethan A. Huff
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
More than a dozen families in New Jersey were shocked to learn recently that some of the supposed fluoride pills they had received from a CVS/pharmacy in Chatham were actually tamoxifen pills, a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer. ABC News reports that an unknown error resulted in some of these families administering this chemotherapy medication to their children rather than the fluoride pills, a monumental error that could have life-threatening consequences.
The Chatham CVS/pharmacy in question may have been dispensing an unknown amount of chemotherapy pills in fluoride prescriptions for at least the past two months, which is why the pharmacy is attempting to contact all families that ordered prescriptions for 0.5 milligram (mg) fluoride tablets within the past 60 days to notify them of the potential problem. Meanwhile, an investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the mixup.
“CVS/pharmacy has industry-leading pharmacy systems and processes designed to enhance the safety of the prescription filling process, including inventory controls that keep similar-looking medications in separate areas, such as fluoride tablets and tamoxifen,” alleged CVS Caremark in a recent statement about the issue. “We are actively investigating this matter to determine how the mistake occurred in order to take corrective actions to prevent this from happening again.”
But it is precisely because CVS/pharmacy supposedly employs such advanced, error-preventing safety protocols that this case leaves more questions than answers. After all, fluoride pills would have been stocked in an entirely different section of the pharmacy than tamoxifen. And contrary to the claims made by CVS Caremark about the two pills looking similar, the same can be said about all sorts of pills — in reality, tamoxifen pills and fluoride pills are not really all that similar, especially since they both bear unique identifiers imprinted right on the pills.
Because it is a chemotherapy medication, tamoxifen carries with it some very serious side effects, including the ability to actually cause cancer. Though fluoride is not much better in terms of safety, the use of hormone-disrupting tamoxifen in children can cause some very serious developmental problems, as well as increase their risk of developing certain types of cancer.
And oral fluoride pills, which have never been proven to prevent tooth decay or improve health in any way, are linked to lowered IQ levels, dental fluorosis (a type of tooth decay), allergies, kidney disease, brain damage, hormone disruption, thyroid and pineal gland problems, bone disease, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and cancer (http://www.fluoridealert.org/).
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This article was posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 3:58 am