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Northern Ontario mom calls for change at pharmacies after prescription error

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On Feb. 12, Natalie Desroches sent her husband to Shoppers Drug Mart at Highway 655 in Timmins to pick up their son's ADHD medication.

He was about to give a pill to the nine-year-old boy when he noticed that something wasn't right.

“My son’s label was on the bag (but) the bottle itself in question was for another person," said Desroches, a resident of South Porcupine.

"Prescription was 30 milligrams of codeine and had we not paid attention or just put it in the cupboard like we always do and told him 'go take your pill,' what could have happened then?" said Desroches.

She called the drugstore to report the error and she said the pharmacist assured her that her son's prescription was double-checked.

Desroches said the pharmacist then delivered the medication to the house and picked up the codeine that was prescribed to someone else.

“And then she apologized -- but it wasn’t an apology that was sincere," said Desroches.

"I think they need to re-evaluate how they fill prescriptions.”

CTV News requested an interview with the local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy, but the manager referred us to Loblaw public relations.

In an email, Dave Bauer, Loblaw spokesman wrote:

"Patient well-being is the reason pharmacists come to work every day. They care, and they always strive to deliver a trusted, compassionate, and high-quality experience. This is a rare circumstance. We deeply regret errors like this and we are urgently investigating. We encourage patients to open their prescription bag when they receive it at the store, and to always follow up with their pharmacist if they have questions or concerns."

CTV News also asked about a similar incident at Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy on Elm Street in Sudbury when a woman requested her arthritis pills.

“It turned out it was medication for heart issues or heart attacks,” said Megan-Rose Brunet of Sudbury.

“So then I called them to let them know I had received the wrong medication and they told me to dispose of it and they told me they would refill my prescription with proper medication." The Loblaw spokesperson did not have an answer for that situation, nor could he tell us how many times prescription mistakes occur.

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Desroches said she is grateful no harm came to her son and now always checks to ensure she has the correct medication.

She also said she plans to change pharmacies.

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