Pharmacy Must Make Changes After Chemotherapy Overdose Kills a Kentucky Man

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It wasn’t cancer that killed our client. Instead, it was a tragic medication error.

Our client was prescribed oral chemotherapy medication so that his cancer could be treated in the comfort of his own home. For several months, he and his family enjoyed the benefits of oral chemotherapy. They were able to spend less time spent traveling to the hospital for cancer treatment than they would have had our client required traditional IV chemotherapy. After three months of in-home treatment, however, our client suddenly became extremely ill.

A Pharmacy Mistake Caused Our Client’s Death

When our client began to show unusual signs of illness, his wife called his oncologist, who recommended that he come in for an office visit. At his appointment, our client’s doctor determined that he was experiencing an adverse reaction to the chemotherapy, but the doctor was puzzled by the severity of our client’s symptoms. The symptoms did not match the low dose of chemotherapy the doctor had prescribed.

While the family was in the room, the doctor called the pharmacy to verify the medication and the dosage. He discovered that the last prescription was filled incorrectly by the pharmacy. Our client had received over ten times the prescribed dose every time he took the medication since picking up the prescription five days earlier.

The look on the doctor’s face told the story. Our client had received too much chemotherapy too quickly, and he was going to die as a result of this medication error.

Predictably, the pharmacy denied liability and first blamed our client and then our client’s oncologist for the error.

We Filed a Lawsuit to Hold the Pharmacy Accountable

Upon our review of the medical records, it was clear that the oncologist had written the correct prescription. Although the prescription was handwritten, rather than electronically submitted, the doctor’s handwriting was entirely legible. There was no chance that this fatal mistake was the result of sloppy doctor handwriting.

Instead, this was a pharmacy error.

Our pharmaceutical malpractice lawyers were ready to fight for justice. Our firm hired the best pharmacy management expert in the region along with a pharmacist expert and pharmacy technician expert.

After taking several depositions, we discovered that the pharmacy tech incorrectly entered the chemotherapy dosage amount, and his supervisor failed to catch the pharmacy tech’s mistake when he received the order. The wrong dosage was entered and administered. The pharmacy safety net failed.

Our legal team discovered that the pharmacy’s policies and procedures were inadequate for high-risk medication such as oral chemotherapy. Our lawsuit on behalf of our client exposed these inadequacies and led to changes in the pharmacy’s policies to ensure better safety procedures.

Cancer Treatment Mistakes Cause Deaths in Kentucky

Medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can save lives, but overdoses can be fatal. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of clients contacting our law firm because of cancer treatment overdoses. This is likely due to the increase in cancer treatment being offered and provided in Kentucky and across the United States.

Previously, we settled a case on behalf of a family who lost a loved one due to a chemotherapy overdose that occurred because an oncologist wrote an incorrect chemotherapy prescription that was not caught by the cancer clinic’s pharmacy.

Your loved one may not have survived his battle with cancer, but if it was a chemotherapy overdose that killed him and not the cancer, you might have a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky. Our experienced malpractice lawyers and staff nurse are here to investigate what happened to your loved one in order to hold the right people accountable for his death. We will fight for your family’s recovery, and help ensure that other families don’t lose loved ones to preventable cancer medication mistakes.

Contact Gray and White Law today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights and to learn how we may be able to help your family through this difficult time.