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January 10, 2008

Hepatitis C Patient Prescribed HIV Meds by Mistake

A recipient of a liver transplant has filed a $2 million lawsuit against New York University Medical Center because the hospital pharmacy accidentally gave him an HIV drug instead of medication to treat hepatitis C, Newsday reports (newsday.com, 1/9).

According to the article, Gregory Rossini, 56, received a liver transplant in 1996. Two years ago, he was given the HIV medication Reyataz by the NYU Medical Center’s pharmacy rather than the hepatitis C medication Rebetol that he was supposed to receive. Because he was not taking the correct treatment, his condition worsened and he experienced chills, dizziness and fever among other side effects.

In court papers, Rossini claims that he noticed that the pills he was given were different from his usual regimen, but did he not challenge the pharmacist until he received a letter from the hospital informing him that he had received a mislabeled bottle.

The hospital official claims in the letter that the mistake was owed to a so-called “robotic malfunction,” which forced pharmacists to distribute drugs manually.


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