Settlement Approved In Diluted Chemotherapy Class Action

A $2.375-million class action lawsuit related diluted chemotherapy drugs is getting the approval of Windsor Justice Gregory Verbeem.

The decision was released today.

The settlment dishes out $1.8-million to the nearly 1,200 patients affected by the diluted drugs who didn't opt-out of the class action suit — it works out to about $1,500 per person.

A further $400,000 is to be paid by the defendants to cover legal fees for those pursuing the lawsuit while $100,000 will be paid to the Ontario and New Brunswick health insurers.

The dilution issue dates back to February 2012.

An investigation found the dilution happened when Marchese Hospital Solutions didn't account for an "overflow factor" when preparing the chemotherapy drugs — leading to 10% less of the active ingredient than advertised. Pre-filled bags of saline used to mixed in with the drugs are overfilled to compensate for evaporation, but MHS used the saline on the basis the volume stated on the labels was the precise amount needed.


Members Of The Diluted Chemotherapy Group meet at the Moose Lodge in Windsor to discuss their stories regarding a class action lawsuit over diluted drugs. (Photo by AM800's John Hutton)

There were 290 affected patients at Windsor Regional Hospital and nearly 690 at London Health Sciecnce Centre along with patients in Peterbourough, the Greater Toronto Area and New Brunswick.

All but 30 of the patients were being treated for cancer.

The settlement indicates there was no malicious intent on behalf of the defendants in preparing the drugs. The defendants also deny any suggestion of physical harm to the affected patients, stessing there is no clinical evidence proving the claim.

Defendants listed in the class action suit include Marchese Hospital Solutions, Mezentco Soultions Inc., Medbuy Corporation, Windsor Regional Hospital, London Health Science Centre, Lakeridge Health, Peterborough Regiona Health Centre and Saint John Regional Hospital.