Forensic Pharmacy Advanced Training

It may seem bizarre, even surreal, but sometimes people intentionally use pharmaceutical products to kill other people.

The murder weapons are medications that were originally obtained from a pharmacy where the intent was that they be used in drug therapy. And sometimes pharmacists can be held accountable.

Murder with Medications:

Unveiling the Mysteries of Forensic Pharmacy

This course discusses how pharmaceutical products placed under the control of pharmacists and intended for use in therapy for patients who need them, are used instead by criminals to kill people. We focus on identifying the zone of risk for people who could be intentionally harmed by pharmaceuticals used in committing a crime, and how to develop best practices to protect patients and others from harm that can be caused by otherwise beneficial medications if they are used criminally as murder weapons. 

Elements of a crime and the pharmacist's role in detecting and preventing crimes

How pharmaceutical products have been used by notorious criminals in the commission of serial murders

Hazards that pharmaceutical products present to vulnerable persons who are in harm’s way

Our Forensic Pharmacy Expert

David B. Brushwood, R.Ph, J.D.
Senior Lecturer, The University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy
Pharmacy Law Content Developer, CEimpact

Professor Emeritus of Pharmaceutical Outcomes & Policy, University of Florida College of Pharmacy
Senior Lecture, University of Wyoming College of Pharmacy

David Brushwood is a pharmacist attorney who has taught pharmacy law for more than 30 years and mentored students in MPJE prep throughout.

  • Case Study
Case Study
Case Study

In January 2014, a Tampa, FL man was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he illegally obtained misoprostol from a pharmacy using a forged prescription, gave the drug to his girlfriend  after he told her it was an antibiotic, and it resulted in the death of the fetus his girlfriend was carrying. The pharmacy was sued for negligence because they allegedly provided this “patient” with a bogus prescription label to help him trick his girlfriend.  

In February 2014, a Johnson City, TN pharmacist was charged with attempted murder after a nurse found him in his wife’s hospital room attempting to kill her by injecting Victoza obtained from stock within his community pharmacy. The charges were later reduced to simple assault.   

Incidents like this are uncommon, but they do happen.  Far more frequent are criminal acts committed by other health care professionals who think they can commit “the perfect crime” by intentionally overdosing a victim with a medication acquired through a pharmacy. 

A surprisingly large number of healthcare professionals have intentionally killed patients within healthcare settings. Healthcare professionals have also stolen pharmaceuticals from healthcare settings and used them to kill relatives, friends, and acquaintances outside a healthcare setting. Pharmacies have also dispensed defective drugs that have killed patients.