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Robert Courtney case Kansas pharmicist that diluted medications1.

Customer Question

Robert Courtney case Kansas pharmicist that diluted medications

1. Discuss the rights and expectations that a patient has when interacting with an organization or person providing some level of healthcare services.
a. Were those rights and expectations violated in this case? If so, how?
b. What role did the pharmacist have as a patient advocate? Did he uphold that obligation?
2. Using information from the Internet and other sources, evaluate the legal conclusion of this case.
3. What were the deciding factors?
4. Did the punishment fit the crime?
a. Was an appeal filed?
b. Is he in prison today?

c. Did this case result in any changes in procedures for dispensing drugs to patients?

Please ensure you site any reference in APA format. Thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Homework
Expert:  DXJAnswerMagic replied 4 years ago.

DXJAnswerMagic :


I might be able to help but need a little more information.

Is there a specific textbook you're using? How long should this be and when should I prepare this by? (I want to make sure I can make your deadline.) Thanks so much! DXJ

Expert:  Chris12 replied 4 years ago.

Hello, do you still need help with this assignment? I need some information:

due date and time


Number of words/pages

Number of references

Any additional information to complete the assignment

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, as soon as possible please.


APA - single space


2-3 pages


Patients have both rights and responsibilities when it comes to their health and the health care services they receive. At the time of entering and being admitted to a hospital, each patient should be informed of his rights and responsibilities. If the patient does not understand his rights and responsibilities, they should be explained to the patient. Patient rights includes: the right to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of age, race, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation; the right to privacy and confidentiality; the right to emergency care; the right to access medical records; the right to receive explanation and understand the tests, diagnoses, prognosis, treatment options, and prescribed medications; the right to actively participate in health care decisions; the right to pain relief; the right to discontinue or decline treatment; and the right to discharge and transfer (Pozgar, 2007). Alongside with these rights, patients are also expected to be responsible to their health as well as to others. It includes: maximizing healthy habits such as exercising, not smoking, and eating healthy; being considerate and making needs and expectations known; showing respect to other patients; respecting the privacy of other patients; making informed decisions; providing complete and accurate information to physician and hospital staff; following the treatment plan; understanding prescription drugs and their possible effects; meeting financial obligations; addressing any concerns or complaints regarding their care; and avoiding putting others at risk (Torey, 2012).

Basically, these rights can be categorized as either legal or human statements of desirable ethical principles such as the right to be treated with respect and dignity (Pozgar, 2007). Most are based on respect and responsibilities as human beings. To have an effective health care, there must be teamwork between patients, doctors, pharmacists and other health care professionals. Each entity involved should be aware of its rights and responsibilities, not just to their own, but also the rights and responsibilities to each other. In Robert Courtney case, the rights of the cancer patients that he has served has been violated since he intentionally diluted the two chemotherapy drugs Taxol and Gemzar for his own advantage. He has betrayed the trust of these poor cancer victims that relied on him. Being a Pharmacist, he was expected to be of good moral character that follows a health care ethic and respects the patients’ role about their care. His duty comprises of compounding, dispensing and labeling of drugs pursuant to prescription orders (Graham, 2003). Tampering and mislabeling of these prescription drugs are a clear violation of pharmacy regulations. And such tampering placed the patients in danger of death or bodily injury (Graham, 2003). Therefore, it is evident that Mr. Courtney has violated the patient’s right to be treated with respect and dignity. He has shown no concern at all with his patients’ health. As a member of a health care team, he was also expected to be a patient advocate. He should have been: a person that gives patients relevant, current, and understandable information concerning their medication therapy and treatment; a person that counsels patients to help them understand their medications, possible adverse side effects, drug interactions, and how to use them correctly; a person that would help patients monitor their intake of medications; and a person who would help them resolve issues about their health care, medical bills, and job discrimination related to the patients’ medical condition (Department of Consumer Affairs, 2012). But instead, he did not uphold these duties, and even broke the trust between allied health care professionals and patients by the dilution of drugs (Elliot, 2002).

As a result of his misdeeds, Mr. Courtney was arrested, trialed and sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment. He lost his licenses and was forced to sell his pharmacies. Additionally, he faces more than 300 counts of lawsuits that accused him of fraud, pharmacy malpractice and wrongful deaths (Freed, 2009). During his trial in the district court, he pleaded guilty to 20 federal counts of tampering and adulterating the chemotherapy drugs Taxol and Gemzar (Elliot,2002). One of the deciding factors used in his sentencing took into account that the former pharmacist abused a position of trust and use of special skill that caused a large number of vulnerable people to be exposed to life-threatening bodily injury (Vivian, 2004). Mr. Courtney appealed his sentence to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. They have argued that because of his guilty plea, he is supposed to be sentenced for a lesser period of time than the 360 months pronounced. But the Court of Appeals noted that in his plea agreement, the former pharmacist confessed that he had diluted 50 more doses of chemotherapy drugs which were administered to 8 patients, and that he had diluted 102 doses of chemotherapy drugs administered to 26 additional patients. The Court of Appeals added that if the district court judge had considered these additional admissions, the sentence would have been more severe than the one pronounced (Vivian, 2004). So, it turned out that this error accrued to Courtney’s benefit and therefore there was no partiality occurred.

Today, Mr. Courtney is serving his sentence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. For almost 20 more years, he will live in a prison cell more or less the size of the room where he committed his tortious acts (Draper, 2003). Because of what he did, the trust between physician-pharmacist-patient relationships has been shaken. The U.S. Pharmaceutical system of compounding and dispensing drugs has been put into question. Pharmacists have taken actions to tighten the rules concerning pharmacies and the dispensing of prescription drugs. Legislators in Missouri and Kansas have suggested measures to increase regulation of pharmacies and penalties for fraudulently dispensing of prescription drugs. One of which is a creation of a tamper-proof product to instituting far more stringent auditing procedures in pharmacies (Young, 2002). In addition, in January 2006, the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board or PCAB was established. It aims to standardized practices of compounding prescription drugs. Moreover, nationwide professional organizations including the Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the United States Pharmacopeia or USP work together with the state authorities to ensure safe and legal practices of pharmacy compounding and dispensing of prescription drugs (Perkins, Clemens &Richmond, 2012).





Department of Consumer Affairs. (2012). California State Board of Pharmacy: Patients Bill of Rights. Retrieved on October 2, 2012 from

Draper, R. (2003). The Toxic Pharmacist. The New York Times. Retrieved on August 21, 2012 from pharmacist.html?ref=robertrcourtney

Graham, C. (2003). Administrative Hearing Commission State of Missouri: Missouri Board of Pharmacy vs. Robert Courtney (No. 02-1268 PH). Retrieved on October 3, 2012 from

Freed, J. (2009). Thousands of Diluted Drug Doses. CBSNews. Retrieved on August 19, 2012 from

Jaffe, Anna. (2001). Courtney Case Prompts New Look at Drug Dispensing. Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved on October 3 2012 from

Perkins, D., Clemens, R. & Richmond, F. (2012). Pharmacy Compounding-Regulatory Issues. Retrieved on October 5, 2012 from

Pozgar, G. D. (2007). Legal aspects of health care administration (10th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Torrey, T. (2012). The Wise Patient’s Guides to Rights and Responsibilities. Retrieved on October 2, 2012 from

XXXXX, XXXXX. (2002). Pharmacists Work to Regain Public’s Trust After Kansas City Scandal. Retrieved on October 4, 2012 from



Expert:  Chris12 replied 4 years ago.

I'll have it done no later than Monday afternoon. Hope that is acceptable.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

that will be a great help! thank you!

Expert:  Chris12 replied 4 years ago.

Here's the assignment:


If you need help again please contact me? Have a nice day.

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