Saturday, April 11, 2009

Community pharmacist admits fatal medicine mistake

From Management in Practice:
A pharmacist who had worked a 10-hour shift without a break wept in court when it heard an elderly woman collapsed and later died after she gave her the wrong drugs.

The daughter of 72-year-old cancer sufferer Carmel Sheller was given a heart rate reducing drug by Elizabeth Lee, 30, who was working on the busy Tesco counter in Dedworth Road, Windsor.

She was in fact supposed to be collecting the steroid prednisolone for her mother who had been prescribed the drug to treat her wheezing and lung inflammation, the Old Bailey heard.

Ms Lee was working as a locum and was in sole charge of the counter when she made the mistake "under pressure" as two other pharmacists were both on maternity leave. The court heard the mother of two had been working from 9am to 7pm.

After pleading guilty to supplying medicine with a misleading label on the package Ms Lee was given a suspended sentence of three months under a breach of the Medicines Act 1968 - an offence carrying a maximum two-year jail sentence. ...more

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