NORTH HAVERHILL — An Alexandria man has filed a medical negligence suit claiming a pharmacist dispensed the wrong drug and that the pharmacy that employed him continued the error when it forwarded refill information to another drugstore where the plaintiff did business.
Scott Ellis underwent surgery at Concord Hospital Center for Urologic Care in July 2016 to remove ureteral and renal stones, according to the suit filed on his behalf by Attorney Matthew Lahey of Laconia. When Ellis was discharged, a physician who assisted with his surgery entered into the hospital’s computer system a prescription for “Potassium Citrate ER 10 MEQ (1080mg) CR-TABS” with instructions to take two tablets twice a day by mouth.
According to the complaint filed in Grafton County Superior Court, Potassium Citrate was indicated to prevent the future formation of kidney stones. The physician’s record shows the prescription was printed out via computer and given to Ellis.
Ellis took the printout to The Prescription Center, which had a satellite location on the Concord Hospital campus. The pharmacists and or technicians there filled it with Potassium CL 10 MEQ 120, not Potassium Citrate, claims the suit that names both Fanaras Enterprises Inc., doing business as The Prescription Center, and Russell Brow, RPH, as defendants.
In response to the suit, Attorney Kevin Collimore of Nashua, who represents the defendants, admits the prescription was incorrectly filled at the Prescription Center at Concord Hospital, but denies the defendants then “called in” the prescription to Rite Aid.
The complaint alleges that Brow, or another pharmacist or technician who worked at The Prescription Center, later called in the prescription to the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Manchester where Ellis did business, for future refills, continuing the error.
Rite Aid refilled the prescription seven times for Potassium CL and not Potassium Citrate and the plaintiff took the drug as prescribed. Ellis continued to form stones and required treatment and surgery, throughout a 10-month period from August 11, 2016, to June 2017, Lahey asserts in court filings.
The error wasn’t discovered until June 5, 2017, when a new prescription was written at Concord Hospital Urology for an increased dosage of Potassium Citrate due to Ellis’ ongoing problem with stones. When the new prescription was electronically transmitted, Rite Aid advised they had been filling the plaintiff’s prescription for a different drug for the past 10 months, as they had been told to do so by The Prescription Center.
On June 6, 2016 the suit says, Ellis received a voicemail from personnel at The Prescription Center requesting a return call regarding the prescription. When he returned the call, Ellis alleges he received an apology and was told to immediately stop taking the original prescription.
Since taking the Potassium Citrate as directed, Ellis has not formed any additional stones. Had he received the correct prescription initially, the suit charges that it is more likely than not Ellis would not have continued to form stones during the period of August 2016 to June 2017.
In response to the suit, the defendants assert that their conduct did not cause the plaintiff’s damages and have reserved the right to argue, should the facts develop in discovery to support the position that Ellis was comparatively at fault. The defendants dispute the causation, nature, extent and effect of the damages the plaintiff claims to have suffered and have reserved the right to argue if facts are found to support it that Ellis failed to mitigate his damages.
On September 13, Court Clerk David Carlson mailed a copy of the suit to the New Hampshire Board of Medicine. Under state law, every superior court clerk must report to the board the filing and final disposition of any legal action for medical injury.