Pharmacist Mistakenly Provides Chemotherapy Drug to Elderly Patient and Then Tries To Cover Up His Mistake

Earlier this month in New Zealand, a pharmacist was reprimanded by the governing professional board after it was discovered that he made an error in providing a patient with the wrong medication and then tried to cover up his mistake. According to one industry news source, the pharmacist accidentally provided an elderly patient with a chemotherapy drug rather than his prescribed immunosuppressant medication.

A standard orange prescription bottle full of yellow pills. The information on the label has been covered. A few pills sit outside the bottle, at its base.

Evidently, the elderly patient had recently undergone a kidney transplant and was prescribed an immunosuppressant as a part of his recovery. However, when the man went to fill the prescription, he was provided a chemotherapy drug instead. It was not until three weeks later that the man returned, asking the pharmacist why his pills had changed, that the pharmacist discovered that there may have been an error. He told the patient to stop taking the drug.

Upon investigating the error, the filling pharmacist discovered that he was the one who had filled the prescription. Once he realized that he had made the error, the pharmacist failed to report the error. The Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner, who oversees pharmacists, explained to reporters that the pharmacist should have provided the patient with counseling as well as reported the error. It was not until the pharmacy owner later discovered that the chemotherapy drug supply was depleted that management knew there had been an error. He then made the appropriate report.

Pharmacy Errors in the United States

While this error occurred overseas in New Zealand, this type of error is not uncommon in the United States. Disturbingly, it is also not uncommon to find that a pharmacist attempted to cover their tracks by hiding evidence of the error, especially when there are no immediately apparent injuries.

However, the effects of a pharmacist’s error may not be completely known in the days, weeks, or even months after the ingestion of the potentially harmful substance. It is for that reason that many people who discover they have been provided the wrong medication by a pharmacist seek a consultation with an experienced pharmacy error attorney. Depending on the facts surrounding the error, a patient may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation if they can link any injuries they suffered to the pharmacist’s error. To learn more about pharmacy errors, contact a dedicated Maryland pharmacy error attorney.

Have You Been Provided the Wrong Medication By a Maryland Pharmacist?

If you or a loved one has recently been provided the wrong medication by a pharmacist and are concerned about the potential long-term consequences of the error, call one of the dedicated pharmacy error attorneys at the Maryland-based personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The skilled advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen have decades of combined experience recovering compensation on behalf of clients in all kinds of personal injury cases, including those arising from pharmacist errors. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

New Study Looks at Error Rates in Hospital Pharmacies, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 22, 2015.

Causes and Effects of Pharmacy Errors, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, August 14, 2015.

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