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Can a care facility give a patient another patients narcotics? Is this legal

Portland, OR |

My wife is in a care facility and takes pain meds. The facility ran out of her meds and had to order more. So instead of waiting for the pharmacy order they gave her another patients narcotics which was double her dose time release. Can they give her another patients prescription???????

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, no, they cannot. There are two issues; first, the pain meds used were not hers, but the property of another person. Second, and more importantly, it appears that they gave her a dosage and medication that was not prescribed for her. It would be illegal to do so. If there was no harm done to your wife, then there may be no claim worth bringing. However, the action of the facility and/or its personnel is concerning and should be addressed.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585
Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com
www.ezoldlaw.com

Answered 8 months ago. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified. /Christopher E. Ezold/ The Ezold Law Firm, P.C. One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 (610) 660-5585 Cezold@Ezoldlaw.com www.ezoldlaw.com

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Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Posted

Pain meds are charged for when they are signed out of the hospital control system, they aren't the property of a person until dispensed & given. Some systems may use a 30 day supply card, such as in Rehab/Long term care facilities. Here a patient may be issued a card so charged for med, but pills returned are to be credited. Where this would be illegal is giving a patient another person's med and charging that other person for the med (false claim act penalty for billing for services not actually rendered, plus also medication error as the dose was not as prescribed, so practicing without a license. Also potential insurance fraud. But, a claim needs duty, breach, damages, and causation. Here, it doen't appear any harm is claimed, so no cause of action for negligence because no damages occurred (presumably).