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    Court: Wrongful death case against pharmacy can proceed

    A Florida appeals court has ruled that the estate of an Ohio man who died from a fatal dose of pain medication could sue the compounding pharmacy that filled the prescription. The court's decision in May reversed a lower court decision that dismissed the allegations against the pharmacy.

    According to court records, Darryl Ray Sorenson, 55, was being treated for back pain resulting from an auto accident. Sorenson's doctor treated his back pain with hydromorphone that was administered through a pain pump in his spinal canal.

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    In 2012, while on vacation in Florida, Sorenson was referred to Charlotte Pain Management (Port Charlotte) by his doctor in Ohio. There, a doctor increased the concentration of Sorenson's medication. Sorenson's dosage strength was tripled.

    Professional Compounding Pharmacists of Western Pennsylvania compounded the hydromorphone and released it directly to the pain center. The pain center administered the drug to Sorenson and he died that day.

    Sorenson's estate filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the pharmacy, the pain center, and several of the healthcare providers involved in Sorenson's treatment. The lawsuit alleged that the pharmacy was negligent for preparing medication that was unreasonable due to the dosage strength. It also faulted the pharmacy for not being registered or licensed in Florida.

    A circuit judge in Charlotte County, Fla. dismissed the allegations against the pharmacy. However, Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeal recently issued a 2-1 ruling that reversed the circuit judge's decision and reinstated the allegations against the pharmacy.

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.

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