Las Vegas pharmacy gives expectant mother abortion pills instead of IVF meds, she loses both babies

"All I got was a sorry," Thomas said. "It will never be good enough."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A Las Vegas woman undergoing invitro fertilization was mistakenly given abortion-inducing pills instead of medication that would help encourage pregnancy.

Timika Thomas, who with her husband decided to have another child in 2019 after having four healthy children, had trouble conceiving, and into her thirties, had to have her fallopian tubes removed after two ectopic pregnancies, according to 8 News Now.

Despite their insurance not covering the treatment, they decided to pay for IVF, with doctors inserting two embryos.

Doctors prescribed her a prescription that would help trick her body into producing hormones to kickstart pregnancy, one of which was a vaginal suppository taken in place of shots Thomas had been taking in the buttocks.

“You have to make yourself think it’s pregnant,” Thomas told 8 News Now. “We’re taking a lot of supplements to make our bodies think it’s pregnant.”

Thomas went to her local CVS branch at W Craig Road and Camino Al Norte, located in North Las Vegas, where she received her prescription, and took two of her required doses.

Thomas immediately knew something was wrong: "I started cramping really bad."

Thomas said her cramping went "beyond" what she was expecting with IVF, adding that it was "extreme. It was painful."

She checked the bottle, looked up the name of the prescription listed, and discovered that she had been given an abortion-inducing drug.

"The first thing I read is it’s used for abortions," Thomas said.

"They just killed my baby," she recalled telling herself at the time. "Both my babies, because I transferred two embryos."

Documents obtained by the outlet revealed the series of mistakes that took place for Thomas to be given the wrong medication.

One technician had incorrectly believed she knew the generic name for the brand prescribed, and typed the wrong name onto the prescription. This mistake was not caught by one pharmacist, and another failed to counsel Thomas when she came to pick it up.

"It [the error] would have been caught because then they would have had to have the medicine in their hand," Thomas said. "And they would have said, ‘Oh, this is Misoprostol or Cytotek, have you taken this before?’ And I would have said 'no.’"

Thomas filed a complaint with the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, which met in September. The two pharmacists werre fined and their licenses were suspended provisionally. The pharmacists will have their licenses reinstated if they avoid disciplinary action over the next year, pay fines, and take continuing education credits.

In a statement to the outlet, CVS said, "We’ve apologized to our patient for the prescription incident that occurred in 2019 and have cooperated with the Nevada Board of Pharmacy in this matter. The health and well-being of our patients is our number one priority and we have comprehensive policies and procedures in place to support prescription safety.  Prescription errors are very rare, but if one does occur, we take steps to learn from it in order to continuously improve quality and patient safety."

CVS was fined the maximum amount allowed in the state by the pharmacy board, $10,000, for vicarious liability of its pharmacists.

"To suspend or take action against a pharmacy license when they really didn’t do anything wrong [it] wasn’t pled they did anything wrong," the attorney said prior to the board issuing the fine. "The only allegation is that they had these pharmacists."

During the hearing, one pharmacist testified while sobbing, "It’s a human error. It was just a human error and I’m so sorry."

"All I got was a sorry," Thomas said. "It will never be good enough."

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