Chemo drug death was preventable, says coroner

It was inappropriately prescribed and then dispensed

The death of an elderly Melbourne man from chemotherapy drug toxicity was "entirely preventable", a coroner has found.

Ian John Gilbert, 77, died in February 2015 after being prescribed methotrexate for a skin condition, following "extreme concerns" expressed by the dispensing pharmacist about the daily dose prescribed by the patient's GP.

"Mr Gilbert died because a dangerous drug was inappropriately prescribed and then dispensed,” coroner Rosemary Carlin said in her findings on Thursday. 

“The fact that the drug was intended to treat a non-life-threatening skin condition makes his death all the more tragic and the decisions to prescribe and dispense all the more inexplicable.”