Monday, September 22, 2008

Utah justices: Pharmacists could be negligent if they dispense withdrawn drugs

From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Utah pharmacists could be considered negligent for dispensing drugs that have been withdrawn from the market, the Utah Supreme Court said in an opinion Tuesday, opening the possibility their job duties will be redefined in a trial court.

The court revived a 2004 lawsuit that accused Hyland Pharmacy in Salt Lake City of negligence. Third District Judge Tyrone E. Medley had dismissed the case in 2006.

In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began receiving reports of valvular heart disease and pulmonary hypertension in people who had been using for long periods of time the appetite suppressant drug combination fen-phen - short for fenfluramine and phentermine.

By September of that year, the FDA asked the manufacturers of fenfluramine to voluntarily withdraw it from the market.

But patient Steve Downing, who began taking fen-phen in February 1996, continued to get his prescriptions for both drugs filled at Hyland through September 2000, according to the court's decision.

As a result, Downing suffered damage to his heart valves, said his Provo attorney, D. David Lambert, and he brought the negligence claims against Hyland. ...more

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