Lawsuit: Doctors reckless with drugs
Doctors over-prescribed drugs at the California hospital that is home to the renowned Betty Ford Center for addiction, a pharmacist's lawsuit alleges.
The allegations of reckless dispensing at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage came to light in a little-known lawsuit that was resolved in the past year, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
Former Eisenhower pharmacist Terry Blasingame contended three doctors prescribed dangerous amounts of addictive drugs to chronic-pain patients through the Eisenhower outpatient pharmacy.
There were no accusations that patients at Betty Ford received excessive drugs. Blasingame alleged, however, that top officials at Eisenhower and Betty Ford failed to act after she brought her concerns to them. Blasingame, a 14-year employee, said the hospital retaliated against her by firing her in 2003. A jury agreed and awarded her $1.3 million last December, the Times reported.
Hospital officials believe the pharmacy has a good record of handling complaints, said Lyle Matthews, directory of pharmacy services at Eisenhower. "I cannot speak to what happened before," Matthews said. "But I am proud of what we're doing now."
Copyright 2007 by United Press International