Drug error considered unlikely to hurt kids

TRENTON, N.J. -- Children who took breast cancer medication mistakenly distributed by a New Jersey pharmacy likely won't suffer any health problems, a pharmaceutical expert said Saturday.

CVS Caremark officials say only a few children ingested tamoxifen, which was mistakenly substituted for chewable fluoride pills as many as 50 times between Dec. 1 and Feb. 20.

Company investigators are working to determine how and why the errors occurred at the pharmacy in Chatham.

"Fortunately, it's very unlikely that this specific drug would cause any serious or adverse effects when used for only a short periods of time," said Daniel Hussar, a professor with the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences.

CVS said it had spoken with or left messages for every family whose child was dispensed a 0.5-milligram fluoride prescription from its Chatham location in the past 60 days.

Mike DeAngelis, CVS Caremark's director of public relations, said no injuries have been reported.

The state attorney general's office has begun a preliminary investigation.

Its consumer affairs division ordered the Chatham pharmacy Friday to explain the mistake and provide the names of all its employees, along with all e-mails, telephone calls, complaints and other information related to the mix-up.