A nurse in Melbourne, Australia, was recently arrested for taking a prescription for a new medication that she thought was a painkiller, but instead ended up putting her life in danger.
In a story published on Tuesday, The Age newspaper reported that Victoria Police had received a tip-off from an anonymous source that a man who works at a Victoria-based pharmacy was using the prescription to treat his “pain-in-the-butt”.
The man, who is in his early 50s, works for a doctor who dispenses medication to emergency rooms and hospices.
In September last year, he wrote a prescription on his office computer for the pain-killer fentanyl, which is commonly used to treat pain, but then the prescription was turned in to the drug lab at the state’s largest drug rehabilitation centre, in the city of Brisbane.
“I was doing my work and then I got an email from someone at the pharmacy who said he had found fentanyl on the pharmacy shelves,” the man told The Age.
“He was just really shocked.”
The man contacted the lab and was told it was fentanyl.
The man and the lab worker then spoke to the police about the incident, but were not immediately charged.
However, Victoria Police were able to determine that the man had used fentanyl and fentanyl-based painkillers in the past.
“The man had a prescription of fentanyl, a pain-killing medication,” Detective Inspector Chris Williams said.
“It’s very rare that fentanyl-type painkillers are found in a pharmacy, but we believe that the pharmacy had known about the risk and the risk of using fentanyl.”
Police were unable to confirm if the man’s identity had been revealed to the public.