Detroit Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Pharmacy Error

The family of a Michigan man who was killed after being given the wrong dose of a drug has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Rite-Aid pharmacy.

The pharmacy error lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan, alleging that a Detroit metro-area Rite-Aid pharmacists erroneously gave John Sheridan, 54, an overdose of the cancer treatment drug Temodar in September 2007, killing him. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the prescription was written incorrectly by Sheridan’s oncologist at 10 times the appropriate dose and it was negligently filled by the Rite Aid pharmacists.

Sheridan’s family has already reached a settlement with the oncologist, but the plaintiffs claim that Rite Aid pharmacy employees should have caught the prescription error.

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Temodar (temozolomide) is an antineoplastic agent by Schering-Plough Corporation approved for the treatment of brain tumors by the FDA since 1999. Overdoses on Temodar are usually associated with taking the medication more than five days in a row. Symptoms can include thirst, dry or pale skin, fever, bruising, bleeding, confusion, weakness and a lack of urination.

According to a 2006 report by the National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine, there are about 1.5 million medication errors every year which result in injuries. These mistakes are largely preventable and could be caused by a doctor prescribing the medication incorrectly, the pharmacy filling the wrong dosage or by nurses dispensing a different patient’s drugs.

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