For years, Janey Karp has battled depression and anxiety with the help of prescription drugs. Though millions of Americans do the same, Karp admits she is intensely private and can’t help but feel stigmatized for needing medication to feel normal.
So when the 53-year-old Palm Beach resident read the Walgreens printout attached to her prescription last week for the sleep aid Ambien, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Typed in a field reserved for patient information and dated March 17, 2005, was “CrAzY!!” In another field, dated Sept. 30, 2004, it read: “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 information continued onto another page but was not attached.
“I was devastated, humiliated and embarrassed,” Karp said. “I honestly couldn’t speak. I was trembling.”
Karp filed suit Tuesday against Illinois-based Walgreen Co., accusing the nationwide retail chain of defamation, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Walgreens is investigating, according to company spokeswoman Carol Hively, who said that computers are accessible to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.