October 1, 2013 / 8:33 PM / 6 years ago

Florida woman tricked into taking abortion drug sues pharmacy

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida woman whose boyfriend switched her antibiotic with a medication known to cause abortion is suing the Tampa-area pharmacy where the drug, prescription bottle and a faked label were obtained, according to a lawsuit.

Remee Jo Lee believed she was taking an antibiotic prescribed in March 2013 by her boyfriend’s father, an obstetrician, who had confirmed her pregnancy, according to a court documents. Several days later, she went to the hospital with severe pain and bleeding, and suffered a miscarriage.

The boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, 28, admitted in a signed plea agreement last month in Tampa federal court that he forged his father’s signature on a prescription and conspired with an as-yet unnamed employee of Sun Lake Pharmacy to order Cytotec, which can induce abortions.

Cytotec, known generically as misoprostol, is prescribed to prevent stomach ulcers and carries a warning that it should not be used during pregnancy because it can cause abortion, birth defects and premature death.

Welden scratched off identifying markings on the pills and then placed them in a bottle with Sun Lake labels provided by the co-conspirator indicating the contents were Amoxicillin, an antibiotic, prescribed for Lee, according to court documents.

Lee and Welden met in 2012 at a “gentlemen’s club” where she worked at the time. Welden described himself on Facebook as a pre-med student at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Police investigators found text messages between the two showing Lee wanted to keep the baby but Welden did not.

Lee filed a lawsuit last week accusing Sun Lake and five individuals of professional malpractice, according to court records.

A woman at Sun Lake who answered the telephone and only identified herself as “Ingrid” referred questions to the pharmacy lawyer who she refused to name.

The five named defendants are three Sun Lake pharmacists and two technicians, who Lee claims are also responsible for what happened to her, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Welden’s plea agreement requires him to cooperate with any federal prosecution of other unnamed people.

He was indicted for murder in May but the charges were reduced as part of the plea deal. Police recorded his phone call with Lee in which he acknowledged what he had done, according to court documents.

Welden pleaded guilty to charges of tampering with a consumer product resulting in bodily injury and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Under terms of the plea deal, Welden faces a little over 13 years in prison when he is sentenced in December.

Editing by Kevin Gray and Alden Bentley

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