A Florida woman is suing Walgreens after reading notes on her prescription referring to her as “crazy” and “psycho.”
Janey Karp, 53, of Palm Beach, has been fighting depression and anxiety with the help of medication, but was shocked to find a computer printout from her pharmacist with the insults.
In an entry dated March 17, 2005, the word “CrAzY!!” was entered in a field reserved for patient information. Another field from Sept. 30, 2004, stated: “She’s really a psycho!!! Do not say her name too loud, never mention her meds by names & try to talk to her when … .”
The remainder of the information was continued on another page, but was not included with the printout.
“I was devastated, humiliated and embarrassed,” Karp told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I honestly couldn’t speak. I was trembling.”
“I’m thinking they’re thinking here comes psycho, that they’re laughing at me as I come in the store,” she added. “I had enough trouble picking these [medications] up in the first place.”
“A person has the right to have whatever medications they’re taking to be private. I’m so private that I never talk about my medications and now they’re telling me that I’m psycho, crazy.”
Karp’s lawsuit accuses the national chain of defamation, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Walgreens spokeswoman Carol Hively says the Illinois-based company is investigating the incident, noting that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have access to the computers.
Attorney Cathy Lively
“The Drug Utilization Review (DUR) includes a notes field intended for the pharmacist to use to enter reminders and patient requests,” Hively told the paper. “We want to ensure that our pharmacy employees are acting in a proper and professional manner so we are looking into this matter.”
Karp’s lawyer, Cathy Lively of Lake Worth, Fla., says she tried contacting Walgreens more than a dozen times to no avail, receiving only “a very generic ‘We’ll investigate.'”
She believes there are untold numbers of other Walgreens customers who could unknowingly face Karp’s situation.
“There a lot of medications with stigmas and sensitivities,” Lively said. “A man taking Viagra, what are they going to be labeled? Do you want slanderous, derogatory comments put in the system?
“My client is not psychotic and not insane or incompetent, but the inference is there. If everybody treated for depression is deemed crazy and psycho, there are real problems.”