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Fitness to practise

CPS will not act against pharmacist whose error led to patient’s death

The Crown Prosecution Service will take no action against a pharmacist involved in a dispensing error that led to the death of a patient.

The event is still being investigated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

“The coroner found that [the patient’s] death was due to a hypoglycaemic episode and hypoxic brain injury arising from this error,” says a spokesperson for the pharmacy. “Everyone at Jhoots is very saddened by this tragic event.”

Avon coroner concluded that Dawn Britton, who suffered from Crohn’s disease, died after taking gliclazide tablets, dispensed in error by a locum pharmacist working at Jhoots Pharmacy in Bristol on 2 August 2013.

A statement issued by Britton’s family’s solicitor said that she was given the tablets by mistake when she collected her regular prescription for prednisolone. Neil Hudgell Solicitors argues that the pharmacy failed to “exercise diligence” in the preparation and provision of her medication.

But the CPS says its decision not to take further action against the pharmacist with regard to an offence of gross negligence manslaughter or an offence contrary to section 64 of the Medicines Act 1968 have been upheld under the victim’s right to review scheme.

Now that the inquest is over, the GPhC’s fitness to practise proceedings can continue.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066939

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