Tamika Thomas, an African American woman from Las Vegas, Nevada undergoing IVF treatment, tragically lost her baby after her local pharmacy mistakenly provided her with abortion medication instead of the fertility medication she needed.
In 2019, Thomas, who is a mother of four, turned to in vitro fertilization (IVF) after having her Fallopian tubes removed. She and her husband had paid for the costly procedure out-of-pocket since it wouldn’t be covered by insurance.
After having two embryos transferred, she went to her local CVS pharmacy in North Los Angeles to get “supplements to make our bodies think it’s pregnant,” she told 8 News Now.
However, instead of the right medicine, she was apparently given Misoprostol, which is used for “medication abortion.”
Thomas filed a complaint with the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, which found that the pharmacy made multiple errors. They guessed the prescription because they couldn’t understand the doctor’s handwriting instead of consulting the doctor to clarify.
What made matters worse was that another pharmacist failed to follow the protocol as they didn’t explain to Thomas what to expect with Misoprostol, which would have alerted them to the mistake.
During the pharmacy board hearing, one of the pharmacists pointed to cutbacks by CVS, which had left them overwhelmed juggling various tasks.
The pharmacy didn’t lose its license and was only fined $10,000, the maximum amount allowed by statute for its vicarious liability for the pharmacists’ errors. Unfortunately, Tamika couldn’t sue the pharmacy due to the statute of limitations expiring, as this incident happened in 2019.
In response, CVS issued an apology and stated their commitment to patient safety. However, for Tamika, the apology couldn’t undo the immense loss she experienced.
“I understand that people make mistakes,” Thomas said at the hearing. “But that mistake took something from me.”