View Full Version : Man takes fatal overdose after pharmacy mixup

30-09-2006, 01:29 AM
Man takes fatal overdose after pharmacy mixup

29 September 2006

A 27-year-old Dunedin man died from a drug overdose after a pharmacist mistook him for another man and handed over six times his usual methadone dose, the Otago Daily Times reported today.

The Pharmacy Council of New Zealand has cleared pharmacist Neville Hill of "issues of competence" after an initial review.

Christopher Owen Wilson was found dead in his bedroom at about 2.50pm on March 16, Dunedin Coroner's Court was told yesterday. A postmortem examination revealed the cause of death was an overdose of multiple drugs, including methadone.

Needles and syringes were found in Mr Wilson's room, along with an empty plastic bottle labelled 180mg of methadone.

Mr Hill told the court he had given Mr Wilson 180mg of take-away methadone at the Campus Pharmacy that morning, after confusing him with another methadone client.

Mr Wilson should have received 30mg of methadone to be consumed on the premises.

A friend of the dead man, David Chamberlain, said Mr Wilson told him he "watched the guy pour the stuff in the bottle, which was strange because he normally got 30mg to take there".

AdvertisementAdvertisementMr Wilson then told him he was going home to "ping some up his arm wherever he could find a vein".

Another methadone user, whose name was suppressed, told police it was easy to pick up other clients' doses at the Campus Pharmacy, as no identification was required.

Mr Hill said he used a system of visual and verbal checks, and a checklist with the names and doses on it. He could not recall why or when he had ticked off Mr Wilson's name.

Dunedin-based Medsafe medicines control adviser Denise Martin said the pharmacy's methadone procedures had since been reviewed as part of a regular audit and some changes were made. Mr Hill said he had been a pharmacist for nearly 40 years with no major incident and expressed his deep sorrow and remorse

Humm......nasty!:eek: ......but at least he got a free ride into orbit, without having to fork out $300,000 to Richard Branson.

Billy T
30-09-2006, 10:37 PM
Sounds like suicide/self-inflicted to me. The druggie knew he had been given too much and in the wrong form, but was happy to take it away and self-administer. It all worked out in the end: One less addict to support on the national health bill.

I feel for his family, and for the pharmacist, but I couldn't give a monkeys about the addict. Nobody forced him to OD.


Billy 8-{)

30-09-2006, 11:15 PM
This should be adopted on a national level.

30-09-2006, 11:38 PM
Very rare that patients are not well acquainted with and knowledgable about their medication in such circumstances ! They usually know very well the dosages.

30-09-2006, 11:58 PM
I had once worked in Pharmacy stores this year when I was in need of having experience with observing pharmacists at work. A pharmacist would normally check through the medication history and make sure that the dosage of the drugs that the patients receive are concordant with the previous months. If there is something is wrong with the prescription, then the pharmacist would ring up the doctor to confirm what he or she had prescribed is correct. In addition, a pharmacist would also check through the National Hospital Index number of the patient to verify the names of the doctor who prescribe the medicine are correct. As such, it is quite a rare thing for a pharmacist to wrongly prescribe the medicine.

Cheers :)

01-10-2006, 12:51 AM
Interesting little story, went to a doctor while I was away working (a decade or so ago) Doctor was a prize grade ********, anyhow, Got the required prescription, went off to the chemist, Chemist gave me a hell of a funny look, he went out the back, came back out the front, gave me another funny look, I asked if there was a problem, He then asked me if I was in the final stages (as in dieing) of cancer....


Well then he says, if you take this prescription you are going to end up near death within a few hours.

Righto, Didn't sound like what I was after, So the chemist rang the Doc to find out what was going on, And I could hear the doc rip strips off the chemist for daring to ring him up and question his work, and pretty much told the poor old chemist that if he was so damn clever he might as well ignore all the docs instructions and just treat the patients themselves.

Anyhow, after getting off the phone and being quite upset over the conversation the chemist just gave me the low level dosage that was required.

Pity I didn't bother go back and pay the Doc another visit, Thinking about it now he was a prime candidate for a smack upside the head.

01-10-2006, 01:11 AM
I had once worked in Pharmacy stores this year...
Come to think about it, I think "I had" should be replaced with "I have" instead since I am refering this year.

01-10-2006, 02:23 AM
Come to think about it, I think "I had" should be replaced with "I have" instead since I am refering this year.

I believe that "refering" is actually spelled as referring. Also, there were a number of grammatical errors in a few of the sentences you had written and some were awkwardly phrased. :D