Claiming Compensation For Prescription Errors In A Pharmacy

Prescription errors in a pharmacy

Prescription errors in a pharmacy claims guide

On this page, you are going to find a guide to claiming based on prescription errors in a pharmacy. By reading it, you will learn about some of the ways that medical negligence can happen at a pharmacy. And we will also illustrate the process for starting a claim against a pharmacy for any harm and financial losses you were caused by negligence.

All claims are unique in some way. And as this is only a small guide, we can’t cover every possible combination of circumstances leading to a claim. Because of this, you may still have questions that need answers after reading this guide. In this case, you can call and have them answered by our claims advisors. You can telephone them on 020 3870 4868, or use our contact form and request a callback.

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What Is A Pharmacy Prescription Error?

In this guide, we will look at how prescription errors in a pharmacy could result in pharmacy negligence claims. When we use the term pharmacy, we are talking about both a high street dispensing chemist and also a pharmacy within a health care facility such as a hospital pharmacy.

If either of these two types of pharmacies made a mistake when dispensing your medication this wrong medication could cause you harm. However, something to keep in mind, is that you will need to prove medical negligence took place in order to make a claim. This guide will cover eligibility to claim later on. For now, you just need to know that the onus is on you to provide this proof.

Types Of Prescription Errors In A Pharmacy

There are a number of ways that prescription errors in a pharmacy could happen. Some of the kinds of errors include those that we have listed below. However, this is only an example list of the ways that these mistakes could potentially happen:

  • You are given a dose of medication that is too high
  • An unauthorised drug is given to you.
  • You are given a low dose of medication
  • A pharmacist gives you the wrong prescription
  • A failure to check on other medication you may be taking leads to drug interactions
  • The pharmacist mixes your prescription up with another patient

These are just some examples of how pharmacy errors can happen. If you believe you have become the victim of negligence at a pharmacy, call our team of advisors. They can tell you whether you have a potentially valid claim or not.

Pharmacists’ Duty Of Care

Every medical professional has a duty of care towards you if you are their patient. This is never to do you any harm unnecessarily. This includes your GP, a doctor, nurse, dentist, and of course, a pharmacist.

When this duty of care is not met, it can result in harm. However, you need to show that there was a clear failure in the duty of care, for your claim to be potentially valid.

What Are The Impacts Of Pharmacy Dispensing Errors?

If you were to fall foul of prescription errors in a pharmacy, there are a number of ways that this could affect your health. Some are more serious than others of course. Below are some examples of the way you could be harmed.

  • An existing condition could become worse due to delayed treatment.
  • You could suffer potentially permanent kidney damage due to an adverse drug reaction.
  • A full-blown case of anaphylaxis could result.
  • You might be given a drug that you have a known allergy to.

How To Prevent Medication And Prescription Errors In A Pharmacy

Although medically trained professionals have a duty of care to you as their patients, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you have been given the correct medication.

  • When the doctor is prescribing you the medication ask them what it is and what it is used for
  • Tell the doctor or pharmacy if you are taking any other medication
  • Check the labels of any medication you are given to see if they have the right details on
  • If you suspect there is an issue take it up with the pharmacist or doctor straight away
  • Taking the wrong medication can be harmful. If you have, seek medical advice straight away.

How To Report Medication Errors In A Pharmacy

According to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), not all medication errors need to be reported to them. We have listed the situations that require a report below.

  • The error was investigated by the police.
  • A death resulted from the error.
  • A patient was injured or became ill.
  • The medication error has caused abuse or an allegation of abuse.

How Much Could You Claim For Prescription Errors In A Pharmacy?

Successful medical negligence claims are made up of two types of damages. The table below looks at one particular type of damage –  general damages. We based this table on the Judicial College guidelines that are used by the legal system to value claims.

Health Problem Information Compensation
Pain disorders (i) There may be severe symptoms that do not resolve by treatment. There will be issues with working and potentially the need for a carer. £39,530 to £59,110
Mental anguish When you think your life is near its end, or assume that it is coming to an end. Up to £4,380
Non-traumatic Injury (i) A condition such as toxicosis can cause serious symptoms, such as fever, diarrhoea, and pain. You will have been admitted to hospital and your condition along with any symptoms will persist into the future. £36,060 to £49,270
Non-traumatic Injury (ii) Although it is a serious disease, it does not persist for a long time. It typically takes about four weeks for diarrhoea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal symptoms to subside. Certain symptoms such as bowel disturbance, ability to enjoy food and life may last longer. £8,950 to £18,020
Non-traumatic Injury When an acute illness strikes, it can be very uncomfortable. These conditions are frequently accompanied by fatigue, nausea, and bowel problems. A hospital stay may be necessary for some patients. The recovery period usually lasts upto two years. £3,710 to £8,950
Non-traumatic Injury Disabling pain, cramps, and diarrhoea that last for days or weeks. £860 to £3,710
Kidney damage (a) Severe and permanent damage to the kidneys in this case. £158,970 to £197,480
Kidney damage (b) There is a possibility of developing another type of kidney impairment in the future, such as an infection. up to £60,050

An Overview Of Special Damages

Alongside general damages for physical and mental harm, you may have cause to pursue special damages for financial loss. These can be prior losses or ones that you predict you will face in the future. These losses must be documented for you to be able to try and claim them. Examples are given below.

  • Loss of earnings.
  • Lowered lifetime earning potential.
  • Private medical fees.
  • Care costs.
  • Ad-hoc expenses.

Start A No Win No Fee Pharmacy Negligence Claim

You may be able to use the services of a lawyer working under a No Win No Fee agreement to process pharmacy negligence claims. You won’t pay an upfront fee, or any fee while the claim is processed. If it fails, you will not be asked to pay a lawyer’s fee. However, if it is won, a legally limited and pre-agreed success fee will be due. Our claims team can explain such a fee agreement in more detail.

If you have any more questions about claiming for prescription errors in a pharmacy, our team of advisors can assist you. Use the contact details below to get in touch.

Telephone: 020 3870 4868

Or try our webchat and contact form.

Related Services And Resources

Here are some useful web links.

Statistics On Medication Errors From The British Medical Journal

NICE Guidelines

The General Pharmaceutical Council  – Regulate Pharmacists 

And here are links to other guides.

Do You Need A Medical Report?

Claim Time Limits Explained

How to Report a Doctor For Medical Negligence

How To Claim For Medication Calculation Errors

Writer CE

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