By Dave Andrusko
Remee Jo Lee, the woman who lost her unborn baby after being tricked into taking an abortifacient, is suing the pharmacy involved, according to a story in the Tampa Tribune.
In September the boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, pleaded guilty to charges of tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He faces a sentence in the neighborhood of 13 years.
Originally a federal grand jury had indicted Weldon on two federal charges, one of them a murder charge made possible by the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act legislation that was instigated by NRLC and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2004. Had Weldon been convicted on that charge, Weldon would have faced a mandatory life sentence without parole.
Reporter Elaine Silvestrini based much of her story on the plea agreement Welden worked out with prosecutors.
“The Sunlake Pharmacy in Lutz [Florida] was implicated in the case in Welden’s plea agreement, which describes Welden enlisting an employee to help in the medication ruse,” Silvestrini reported. “Welden forged his physician father’s name on a prescription for the drug Cytotec.”
Welden told Ms. Lee that his father said that she had an infection and he was bringing her antibiotics. After scratched identifying markings off the Cytotec pills, “Welden then put the fraudulent label on the empty pill bottle and put the altered Cytotec pills inside,” Silvestrini reported. Welden “also affixed a second label to the bottle reading, “Amoxicillin: 125mg oral tablet,” a common antibiotic. Lee then lost her baby, estimated to be 6-7 weeks old.
The plea agreement itself does not name the pharmacy employee, only that he or she “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,” Silvestrini reported. The label included the instructions, “Take 3 tablets sublingually three times daily for three days.”
Lee filed her lawsuit in Hillsborough Circuit Court. According to the conclusion of Silvestrini’s story
“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.”