‘No clear link’ between death of six people with epilepsy and drug change, says chief coroner

She said that as a result, some messages from pharmacists and GPs to those whose medications had changed “were lacking in some critical areas.”

A pamphlet produced by Pharmac for consumers was not received by any of the deceased, according to the evidence – and even if it had, Justice Marshall says that would not have alerted them to the potential for unwanted symptoms resulting from a rebranding.

On the contrary, the brochure said, “Logem contains the same active ingredient as other brands and is delivered to the body in the same way. This means that your new brand of medicine works the same as your old brand. You shouldn’t. notice it. any difference in how it affects you. “

Jo Oliver, the mother of one of six people whose deaths sparked the investigation, said Justice Marshall’s criticism of Pharmac’s communications strategy was justified.

Her son, William Oliver, 26, died in August 2019 of an epileptic seizure four months after moving to Logem.

“Communication between Pharmac, pharmacists and doctors is not at all good,” she said.

Oliver now wonders if Pharmac will follow the helpful observations listed by Justice Marshall in his findings.

“Our health care system – we have to change it,” she said. “Pharmac has to sit down and listen to what people are saying… no matter what drug it is, it has to be reviewed.

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