Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jefferson Regional Hospital Pittsburgh Finds Drug Theft

In yet another instance in the growing epidemic of drug diversion and narcotic theft in local Pittsburgh hospitals, Jefferson Regional Medical Center has notified 362 patients that they may have received a “non-narcotic” medication instead of the intended painkiller oxycodone.  The Pittsburgh TribLive reports the full incident in today's article "Jefferson Regional says it fired technician who substituted medication."

I am representing one of these unfortunate individuals for injuries sustained as a result of being given an anti-thyroid medication instead of a doctor-ordered pain reliever, oxycodone.  My client and all the other similarly situated patients were prescribed oxycodone because they were in a medical state that carried with it an extreme amount of pain.

 Oxycodone is used to relieve severe pain. Oxycodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.  Instead of these poor patients receiving their prescribed oxycodone to alleviate the extreme pain they were experiencing, they were administered a medication with no pain relieving benefits.  As a result, all of these patients needlessly suffered extreme pain that they otherwise would not have.

We do not yet know the motivations of the pharmacy technician that was fired in connection with this massive drug diversion episode.  What we do know is that pharmacy technicians are health care workers who perform pharmacy related functions, generally working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist or other health professional.  Thus, it is safe to assume that in order for this individual to have diverted the amount of oxycodone as stated in this article, there was clearly a break down in Jefferson Regional's drug control and distribution system.  Somewhere along the line, an individual or individuals, failed to properly follow policy and oversight procedures that should have prevented this unfortunate incident from ever occurring.

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1 comment:

  1. It works by changing the way medical supplies the brain and nervous system respond to pain.

    ReplyDelete