Robert Ray Courtney Case
Robert was charged with diluting chemotherapy drugs. He usually worked in his room mixing powders and creams into chemical paste. His room was 9 feet by 9 feet, and he would spend several hours inside making drugs. The room had a white table at the centre, and he usually wore a white lab coat while working. He would draw parts of the chemical paste and mix with saline solutions to produce medication. Customers who visited him were unsuspecting of this process, and he would take their prescriptions and sell them the drugs. One of his customers was Delia Chelston. She suffered from ovarian cancer and would buy Taxol from Robert. However, she did not experience the crippling side effects of the drug. Mary Rhoads wanted another outlet to acquire her interferon as stated by her insurance company. Robert offered to help her and she would obtain her medicine from his pharmacy.
In 2001, Dr. Hunter ordered chemotherapy drugs from Courtney. She discovered that several of the delivered doses were diluted. Some of the drugs were to less than a quarter of the expected concentration. Hunter informed the FBI and FDA of her findings. The food and drug administration bought and tested more drugs to find that they were severely diluted. On August 13, 2001, FBI agents stormed the pharmacy. They had evidence from the drugs ordered by Hunter. His former patients acted as witnesses during the hearing. The federal also had its own evidence from the lab results from the lab tests conducted by FDA. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison. He serves his sentence at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Robert committed several crimes during his business period. Most of the drugs came from illegal trade. He would sell more lily Gemzar chemotherapy medicine to doctor s in Research Medical tower than he purchased from Ashley. This trade would also supply him with the chemicals he used to dilute the drugs. He could pocket as much as $50,000 from one patient he supplied with the drugs. The act of diluting drugs violated the laws enacted by food and drug administration. FDA controls the composition and quality of drugs and food stuffs. His medication was diluted beyond the recommended composition. The law requires medical practitioners and pharmacists to protect the lives of the citizens by practicing safe and healthy treatment. He broke the law by diluting his medication (Adams, 2010).
The pharmacy ethics on professionalism require pharmacists to put the patient’s wellbeing before economic gains. Robert broke this rule by diluting his medicine to maximize his returns. The pharmacist should respect the relationship with the patient. Robert usually lied to his customers, which was a breach of trust. Pharmacists are supposed to promote the well being of all patients. This includes providing medicine at the right dosage and composition. Robert’s drugs were diluted beyond the required chemical composition. Honesty and integrity are expected of every pharmacist. They are required to serve customers with the right prescriptions and be open to them. When Mary returned half filled syringes to Robert, he quickly replaced them without any explanation. He lied to other patients about the composition of the drugs. Pharmacists are also required to seek justice for their customers. This was depicted by Hunter who tested the drugs and informed the FBI and FDA about the dilutions (Buerki and Vottero, 2002).
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