Store’s mistake on expired drug ‘unacceptable’

Colin Rawsoin who was given expired drugs by Tesco for his son, who has cancer
Colin Rawsoin who was given expired drugs by Tesco for his son, who has cancer

A Dunstable mum who was given out-of-date drugs at Tesco in Skimpot Road last year has said it is “totally unacceptable” that the supermarket giant has made the same mistake again.

Elaine Rawson, of Half Moon Lane, was commenting on our recent story about a medical student who was given Lemsip that had expired three months earlier.

In September, Mrs Rawson complained to the General Pharmaceutical Council that the anti-seizure drug Levetiracetam – dispensed for her son, who is recovering from a brain tumour – was two months out-of-date.

She said: “Tesco assured us that measures had been put in place after our experience. It’s astonishing to hear that out-of-date medication has been raised with them again and it’s totally unacceptable for such a well-known grocery store.”

She added: “I had to ask for a donation to charity as compensation.

“I was disapppointed I had to request this – they could have been far more pro-active themselves. It made us wonder just how sincere they were. It would have meant more, by way of apology, if they had nominated the Brain Tumour Charity as their charity of the year.”

Her husband Colin was told the drug wouldn’t have done their son any harm but he queried: “Would it have stopped a seizure?”

The Gazette was told Tesco was conducting “a full investigation”.

A spokesman said: “This is a serious incident and we will of course update Mr Rawson with the findings.”

Mrs Rawson claims this never happened.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have strict processes for checking the dates of medicine products on our shelves and those dispensed from our pharmacy counters.

“We would like to assure customers we take every complaint very seriously and investigate it fully.

“We’ve apologised to Mrs Rawson for the incident last year and were pleased to provide a donation for £300 to charity as a gesture of goodwill.”

A General Pharmaceutical Council spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate to comment or provide details about investigations where there has been no formal consideration by Fitness to Practise Committee.

“Another important factor would be an assessment of risk to patients and the need for our response to be proportionate.”