Monday, November 19, 2012

Jefferson Regional Hospital Oxycodone Switch

Unconfirmed reports are surfacing that the pharmacy technician at the center of Jefferson Regional Hospital's massive drug diversion fiasco that left many patients in severe pain was replacing Oxycodone with both Methimazole (an anti-thyroid medication) and anti-nausea medications, possibly Zofran.

Pictured above are Oxycodone, what Jefferson Regional patients were supposed to be prescribed and the two other medications which may have been switched and given to patients instead.  As you can see while the oral forms of the medications are generally similar looking i.e. round white pills, they have different markings on them.  Thus, it would be expected that medical personnel in charge of actually distributing these medications would have noticed a difference.  Surprisingly, this does not appear to have occurred, at least in any timely fashion.  Instead, it appears that this pharmacy tech was able to divert oxycodone for several months.

Another huge tip off that appears to have been missed was the likely scope of patients complaining of unusual levels of pain.  This is often how narcotic thiefs like the tech at Jefferson are caught.  Specifically, floor personnel notice a slew of patients voicing pain complaints far greater than would be expected given the pain medication administered.  Again, this fairly obvious sign of drug diversion may have been overlooked by Jefferson Regional Medical Center's staff.

I will continue to monitor the development of this situation.  Please read my prior post "Jefferson Regional Hospital Pittsburgh Finds Drug Theft".

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1 comment:

  1. Officials said there is a possibility that approximately 362 patients who received care at the hospital between June and October 2012 may have received the substituted non-narcotic medication for prescribed oxycodone. Autoclave