Lake Worth woman given expired insulin - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Lake Worth woman given expired insulin

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - Check the date: That's the warning from a Lake Worth woman after receiving expired insulin from a local pharmacy. She says it wasn't until she got home she noticed everything wasn't as it should be.

Pattie Taccariello has been a diabetic for eight years; less than a year ago, she made a switch from oral insulin. "I'm insulin tolerant, so I have to use insulin pens," she said.

Just four days ago, she made her way to the CVS pharmacy less than a mile from her home on Lake Worth and Ohio Road. She paid $9 for her a pack of Humalog insulin pens and walked out. "I never even thought to look," she admitted.

The side of the box, however, caught her eye as she was putting the medication up for later use.

The expiration that the pharmacist put down says: 'date filled 4/6 discard after 4/5/12'. But the expiration on the box says '3/11'. And on the pens the expiration also shows 'March 2011'. "It's scary to think if I had used this is wouldn't have effected my sugar."

Her fears are justified.

Endocrinologist Dr. Jaime Stensapir says while an expired pen only loses 30 percent of its effectiveness over six months, it still can cause a diabetic problems. "It will be less able to decrease blood sugar in that patient," he said.

As a result, the patient can become to develop less control of his or her blood sugar. Pattie says she believes more people may have mistakenly been given expired insulin, so, she says, double check your medication. "It's better to be safe than sorry. This needs to get out because if anybody else has this insulin, it might harm them not help them."

Pattie did contact the pharmacy about the expired medicine. She says they offered to refund her money and give her the correct insulin.

We contacted the corporate office and regional director but have not had our calls returned.

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