According to thespec.com, Ontario’s cancer care agency has discovered that about 1,000 patients being treated with chemotherapy last year were given a watered-down treatment that contained a lower dose of the medication than was originally prescribed. These patients were being treated for diseases that included breast, lung and bladder cancers.
The medication was prepared by a Hamilton, Ontario company, Marchese Hospital Solutions, and consists of a premixed cocktail of different medications dissolved in a saline solution. A pharmacy technician at one of the five Canadian hospitals where the medication was shipped discovered that the doses had too high a percentage of saline solution, therefore diluting the chemotherapy medication. Company officials are cooperating with the government’s investigation.
Patients May Have Died Because of Error
One of the Hospitals where the incorrect doses were administered has reported that seventeen patients have died since beginning their therapy. David Musyj, President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, where the seventeen patients died, said that it may be impossible to determine whether the diluted medication contributed to the patient’s deaths or not. The discovery of the “bad medication” will not make it less painful for the surviving relatives. All hospitals are currently contacting the surviving patients and the families of the deceased patients to inform them of the problem.
One of the seventeen patients who passed away was 27-year-old Crystal Giegerich, who died in February. Mrs. Giegerich was six months pregnant when diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in the fall of 2011. The baby was delivered prematurely at seven months so that she could undergo chemotherapy. Her husband, a pharmacist with 23 years of experience himself, is still waiting to hear from the hospital, but would like to hear whether his wife was one of those patients who received the diluted medication.
The diluted portions of the medication cocktail were cyclophosphamide, a medication commonly used to fight breast cancer and some types of leukemia and lymphoma, and gemcitabine, used to fight lung and bladder cancers. Both were diluter up to 20 percent. These two medications are typically combined with three other compounds to make “a cocktail.”
Pharmacy Errors Happen Anywhere
In our experience, pharmacy errors like those described above are not limited to Canadian hospitals. Our firm has successfully represented dozens of clients that have been harmed by erroneous doses and/or have been given the wrong medications by their pharmacist.
For example, we represented a 28-year-old Miami woman who was given another patient’s medication as she recovered from complications following pregnancy. The wrong drug, known as Finasteride or Propecia, was administered to our client for about three weeks by the local store of a national pharmacy chain. Men typically use this medication to fight hair loss and prostate problems. Moreover, women are specifically warned not to take or even handle this drug. It was only when the client felt ill, that the discovery of the error came to light.
Also, we are currently representing a nine-year-old boy that had to needlessly go through months of nausea, vomiting, headaches and fatigue because his pharmacist was so ignorant and arrogant to cross off the medication originally prescribed by the boy’s doctor and filled the prescription with “Rifampin” instead. The boy is suffering from inactive tuberculosis, for which his doctor correctly prescribed INH. Rifampin, the medication “prescribed” by his pharmacist is a medication specifically for cases of active tuberculosis.
The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help
Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Pharmaceutical Error Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have represented many clients that have been the victims of medication errors. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.
With more than 100 years of combined experience, the lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano are ready to help clients that have the victims of medication errors by physicians and/or pharmacists recover the funds they need for their rehabilitation.
If you have been a victim of a pharmacy error, please contact us immediately at 305-595-2400 to schedule a free consultation. As lawyer can help you seek financial compensation from those whose negligence caused your injuries as well as from their insurers. This financial compensation may include past and future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
We offer a free initial consultation and we work on contingency fees, which means that there is no charge unless we win your case.