Woman accused of stealing cancer patient's meds
LYNN, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Lynn woman was arrested after allegedly stealing pain medication from her longtime friend who is battling cancer and replaced it with Ibuprofen.
Police say Donna Welch-Gowan, 46, stole more than $600 worth of pain pills from a stage 2 cancer patient and replaced them with Ibuprofen.
“I don't understand how somebody could do that to somebody that's supposed to love them. I’m glad that she's in jail, because that's where she belongs,” Deborah Herrick, victim.
Welch-Gowan, also known as Donna Griffin to Lynn police, has been friends with the victim for more than 20 years.
“I don't think she was trying to hurt me. But she could've. She could have killed me. For sure. I would have died,” said Herrick.
Police say Gowan replaced the Neurontin pain pills with Ibuprofen. The victim never noticed the difference because the pills look so similar.
Doctors discovered there was a problem after she started having seizures.
“It hurts that she would do that to me,” Herrick said.
The cancer patient says Gowan stole the meds from her locked closet while she was sleeping.
Pharmacists 7News spoke to say Neurontin is a highly abused street drug. Police say it may be the new drug of choice, but until now, they've never heard of it.
“We haven’t really experienced it here in Lynn, but every time we do hear of something on drug task forces we’ll definitely be on the lookout for different drugs that hit the streets” said Lt. Chris Kelly, Lynn Police Department.
The victim says she is going to move in with her son so he can take care of her.
The suspect is due back here in court Aug. 2.