Oklahoma physician, pharmacist charged with manslaughter plead not guilty

A physician and a pharmacist in Oklahoma pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter charges after a patient died in 2020 from an incorrect medication dose, according to court documents.

The two plaintiffs are pharmacist Justin Lee and physician Alexander Frank, MD. Both were charged with one count of manslaughter, and Dr. Frank was also charged with one count of neglect. 

In May, the state's attorney general's office charged the two men in a case involving a 75-year-old patient's death. The patient was at Oklahoma City-based Bellevue Health and Rehabilitation Center and received doses of methotrexate five times higher than the recommended amount. 

The FDA-approved medication is indicated for 20 milligrams once a week, but the patient received 100 milligrams over five days, according to the lawsuit. The suit alleges that Dr. Frank approved the incorrect dosage and Mr. Lee ignored an electronic system's warning and filled the prescription. 

Ten days after receiving the treatment, the patient died.

Dr. Frank pleaded not guilty to the neglect charge May 16 and the manslaughter charge July 20. Mr. Lee pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charge July 26.

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