LYNN (CBS) – A longtime friend of a Lynn cancer patient has been charged with switching out her medications.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mike Macklin reports.

The victim suffers from Stage-2 cancer, and with her health failing, she had turned to a longtime friend, Donna Welch-Gowan, to care for and comfort her.

All seemed fine until a doctor’s appointment last week, according to Lynn Police Lt. Christopher Kelly.

“She went into Mass. General Hospital on Thursday of last week and the doctor detected a very high level of ibuprofen in her system and a very low level of her cancer treatment pills,” said Lt. Kelly.

It turns out the victim’s cancer pills had been replaced with ibuprofen, which looked identical aside from some markings on the tablet.

“The medication was kept in a locked closet, and the only key was kept around the victim’s neck while she slept, and at one point, the victim believes that that key was removed from her neck, but the only person in the apartment at that point being her friend,” said Lt. Kelly.

Police investigated and arrested Welch-Gowan. She’s charged with larceny and pleaded not guilty.

Police are unsure of a motive for switching the medication or how long it had been happening.


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