23 September 2008
Man dies after mistake leads to overdoses in clinical trial
A young man has died after being given overdoses in a clinical trial, it has emerged.
Gary Foster was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer and was offered the chance to participate in a government-funded trial involving an experimental drug.
The graphic designer accepted the offer and began his treatment under the care of the University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs a number of medical centres, including the University College Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
During the course of his treatment, Mr Foster was given double doses of the chemotherapy on seven occasions.
When the government body funding the trial realised, it sent a letter out to doctors.
However, the correspondence was not opened for two weeks and would have been too late anyway.
A coroner has ruled that Mr Foster died as a result of lung damage caused by the overdoses and found that the trial's instructions had been wrongly set up on the electronic prescribing system at the hospital.
The Medical Research Council, which was funding the trial, has not accepted blame over the case but has changed its procedures.
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