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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Woman tricked into taking abortion pill suing pharmacy in Lutz

TAMPA — The woman whose boyfriend tricked her into taking an abortion pill is suing the pharmacy involved.

Remee Jo Lee lost her baby six or seven weeks into her pregnancy after she took the drug given to her by John Andrew Welden earlier this year. Welden pleaded guilty Sept. 9 to a federal charge of product tampering, and both sides are recommending a sentence of more than 13 years in federal prison as part of a plea deal.

The Sunlake Pharmacy in Lutz was implicated in the case in Welden’s plea agreement, which describes Welden enlisting an employee to help in the medication ruse. Welden forged his physician father’s name on a prescription for the drug Cytotec.

According to the plea agreement, Welden asked the unnamed pharmacy employee, described as a co-conspirator, to order Cytotec to fill the forged prescription in his own name. Welden discussed with the employee obtaining a prescription label in Lee’s name and a pill bottle, even though Lee was not a pharmacy customer.

The plea agreement says the pharmacy employee knew Welden would be putting medication into the pill bottle and prepared the fraudulent label at the time he or she was filling the Cytotec prescription for Welden.

The pharmacy employee prepared the label with the pharmacy name on it, Lee’s name and address and the instructions, “Take 3 tablets sublingually three times daily for three days,” according to Welden’s plea agreement.

Welden scratched identifying markings off the pills. Welden then put the fraudulent label on the empty pill bottle and put the altered Cytotec pills inside. He also affixed a second label to the bottle reading, “Amoxicillin: 125mg oral tablets.”

Welden told Lee his father said she had an infection and he was bringing her antibiotics.

In her lawsuit against the pharmacy, filed last week in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Lee faults Sunlake for a number of things, including failing to recognize that the Cytotec prescription had been forged, failing to consult with the doctor about the prescription because “a reasonably competent, concerned and safe pharmacist would have recognized the prescription ... was grossly in error,” negligently dispensing the forged prescription without the manufacturer’s warnings, giving Welden the false prescription label and pill bottle, and failing to counsel Lee about the dangers of the use of Cytotec.

The lawsuit names three pharmacists and two technicians, alleging each is responsible for what happened.

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Twitter: @ElaineTBO

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