Veterans hospital reduces methadone use after patient dies



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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A Veterans Affairs Department hospital in Colorado says it has drastically reduced its active methadone prescriptions and has taken other steps after the death of a patient who had been written a prescription for the drug.

Grand Junction VA hospital spokesman Paul Sweeney said Friday the hospital cut its methadone prescriptions by nearly half after the patient's death in 2014.

Government investigators said this week the patient died two days after he obtained methadone from the hospital pharmacy with a prescription. They could not determine whether the drug caused his death because no autopsy was done.

Investigators said the doctor who prescribed methadone didn't follow all VA procedures.

Sweeney said he couldn't say whether the doctor faced any repercussions. He didn't know whether the doctor still worked at the hospital.

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The Associated Press

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