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Pharmacists’ Dispensing Standards – how good are they?

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:05pm

The following is from the BBC News website:-

Pharmacists are calling for a change in the law, which criminalises them for dispensing the wrong drug.

In April, locum pharmacist Elizabeth Lee, was prosecuted under the 1968 Medicines Act for giving a patient beta-blockers instead of steroids.

The patient, Carmel Sheller, 72, from Windsor, later died in hospital.

The judge found Mrs Lee bore no “legal or factual” responsibility for Mrs Sheller’s death but passed a three-month suspended prison sentence. He said it was to “mark the gravity of the offence.”

Pharmacists are worried that this has set a precedent for prosecutions of even one-off minor errors.

So, quite naturally, pharmacists are worried. Yes, well so are the patients. And I, for one, don’t consider giving a patient an entirely different drug to be a minor error. It’s what’s technically known as a fuck-up.

I’ve been seriously ill all my life and, by the age of  7, I was taking ephedrine, in the form of a liquid, which was diluted with sweetened lemon juice. This was so dark as to be almost black. One day, my mother came back from the chemist with a bottle of Continue Reading »

The following is from the BBC News website:-

Pharmacists are calling for a change in the law, which criminalises them for dispensing the wrong drug.

In April, locum pharmacist Elizabeth Lee, was prosecuted under the 1968 Medicines Act for giving a patient beta-blockers instead of steroids.

The patient, Carmel Sheller, 72, from Windsor, later died in hospital.

The judge found Mrs Lee bore no “legal or factual” responsibility for Mrs Sheller’s death but passed a three-month suspended prison sentence. He said it was to “mark the gravity of the offence.”

Pharmacists are worried that this has set a precedent for prosecutions of even one-off minor errors.

So, quite naturally, pharmacists are worried. Yes, well so are the patients. And I, for one, don’t consider giving a patient an entirely different drug to be a minor error. It’s what’s technically known as a fuck-up.

I’ve been seriously ill all my life and, by the age of  7, I was taking ephedrine, in the form of a liquid, which was diluted with sweetened lemon juice. This was so dark as to be almost black. One day, my mother came back from the chemist with a bottle of Continue Reading »

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