Statement from Jefferson Regional Medical Center
November 14, 2012
Jefferson Regional Medical Center recently became aware that medication labeled as the narcotic Oxycodone, contained a non-narcotic drug. An immediate and detailed internal investigation was conducted and Jefferson Regional officials determined that a pharmacy technician who handled medication packaging in the hospital pharmacy substituted another medication for the narcotic. This employee has been terminated.
Jefferson Regional immediately reported the incident to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and contacted the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation division and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Jefferson Regional continues to support their investigations.
We have determined that there is a possibility that approximately 362 patients who received care at Jefferson Regional between June and October 2012 may have received substituted non-narcotic medications for the prescribed Oxycodone as a result of the terminated employee’s actions.
Jefferson Regional is not aware of any adverse reactions or side effects as a result of the medication substitution in our patients, and has determined that it is very unlikely that the substituted medications will cause any harm, or have any lasting effects.
“Drug diversion in hospital settings is on the rise nationally, however, Jefferson Regional recognizes that it is never acceptable and must be stopped,” said Richard F. Collins Jr., MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Jefferson Regional. “Jefferson Regional is committed to providing safe, quality care and it is unfortunate that our hospital and our patients were impacted by the acts of one employee who broke the law.”
We are in the process of notifying each of the possibly affected patients and their physicians of the situation and providing medical consultations and referrals as needed. Any Jefferson Regional patients who are not contacted are not affected by this situation.
Questions can be directed to our patient information center at 412-267-6006 or via email at PatientCareInfo@JeffersonRegional.com.
NOTE: Due to the nature of the ongoing criminal investigation and patient confidentiality, Jefferson Regional is unable to provide additional information beyond this statement.