Over 40,000 cases: Pharmacists are said to have dosed cancer drugs too low

Pharmacists are said to have massively under-dosed cancer drugs
Surveys show that most Germans trust the pharmacy around the corner. But apparently so-called “black sheep” can also be found here: A pharmacist in the Ruhr area is said to have sold numerous cancer patients to medicines that were too low. There are at least 40,000 cases.

Wrong dose of medication can be dangerous
Health experts repeatedly refer to dangerous errors in medication use. For example, a too low dose of medication, for example for antibiotics, can contribute to the development of resistance. It is even more problematic if the dose does not have a therapeutic effect, especially when it comes to serious illnesses such as cancer. However, countless patients in North Rhine-Westphalia may have been exposed to exactly this risk.

Anti-cancer drugs too low
A pharmacist in Bottrop (North Rhine-Westphalia) is suspected of having overdosed on cancer drugs when mixed together. The 46-year-old has been in custody since the end of November.

The Essen public prosecutor's office wrote in a press release: “He has been charged with at least 40,000 individual cases since 2012 in the manufacture of infusions for so-called cancer immunotherapy, in deviation from the prescriptions individually prescribed by the doctor, the infusions with too low a proportion of the medicinal products prepared and also disregarded the rules of hygiene. "

Breach of the Medicines Act
According to the information, the pharmacist had billed the full amount for the requested dosage with the health insurance companies. The financial damage is estimated at 2.5 million euros.

"From a legal point of view, the Essen public prosecutor assumes violations of the Medicinal Products Act," the statement said.

Health damage still unclear
However, it is still unclear what health damage the accused has caused. According to the dpa news agency, the prosecutor said it is unlikely that it will be possible to find out which patients were affected by incorrect infusions and what effects this could have had. The pharmacist said nothing.

The pharmacist's silence must not hinder victim protection
According to the agency, the German Foundation for Patient Protection was dismayed and asked the investigators to quickly clarify which patients had been given extended medication.

“The silence of the pharmacist must not hinder victim protection. After all, the data of the patients are known to the supplied hospitals and medical practices, ”said board member Eugen Brysch.

Clinics and doctors are therefore requested not only to support the public prosecutor's office in the investigation, but to contact the affected patients directly. In addition, the patient protectionist demanded that a hotline for those affected be set up at the state health ministry. (ad)

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