Jailed for Pharmacy Mistake

Doctor with sawThis morning I was watching CNN like I usually do while having my morning coffee and saw a story that was very scary. Anne Lenhart went to Haiti to volunteer her time after the earthquake. She went hiking while there, had a 30-foot fall, and broke her knee. It took several hours to get her to a hospital, where she underwent emergency reconstructive surgery on her knee – which was done without any anesthesia. After about a week, she was flown back to Dallas.

Police She had been on prescription pain medicine for about a month and went to refill them at CVS. Although the CNN story I am linking below doesn’t say this, when I Googled the story, other news sources stated that CVS called her to ask her what time she was coming in to pick up her prescription. She wasn’t able to drive so had a friend take her to the pharmacy where she was met by a police officer. She was arrested for supposedly forging her prescription. The other news sources also say that the arresting officer told her that he had worked with that particular pharmacist before and he never made a mistake.

Anne Lenhart was on crutches – which I know can be easily faked. However, she had what they are calling a permanent IV in her arm – having had a PICC line with the infection I had, I am guessing that is what she had. That is not something that you can fake.

She spent the night in jail, without her pain meds. She wasn’t allowed to go back to work until the company she worked for had a letter from her attorney stating that it was a mistake.

The kicker? Anne’s doctor never got a call from the pharmacy asking if it was a legitimate prescription, which it was. Apparently CVS called the wrong doctor.

When I lived outside of Harrisburg, I used a CVS pharmacy. I had seen a gastroenterologist that was in the practice my PCP belonged to. He called in some medicine to CVS and when I picked it up, it had another doctor with a similar name on instead of the doctor I had actually seen. I told them about it several times and they never fixed it. At the time, it was more of an annoyance than anything else but I can now see why it is very important that pharmacies have the right doctor’s information on your prescriptions. And if the pharmacy calls to ask what time you are coming in? Go straight to your attorney’s office!

You can watch the CNN video about the pain med prescription here.



2 thoughts on “Jailed for Pharmacy Mistake

  1. I know some states have enacted laws to make prescription fraud more difficult. The forms can only have one doctor’s name on it (not a list of all the docs in the practice), and they have a blue non-reproduceable watermark.

    Honestly, I think the bigger issue, larger than Rx fraud, is making the prescriptions legible. It’s a miracle that pharmacies don’t dispense the wrong type or quantity of medication more often.

    • One good thing about electronic medical records is more prescriptions are being automatically transferred to the pharmacy or printed out and then signed. In PA, things like pain meds have to be on a paper script and not transferred – I found that out last summer when I had a lip biopsy.

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