Boots Pharmacy Prescription Error/ Wrong Medication Claims Guide – Could I Claim Compensation?

Whether you have been given the wrong prescription by your doctor, or suffered from prescription negligence at the hands of a pharmacy, taking the wrong medication, or the wrong dosage of medication, could cause you harm. If harm has been caused by a Boots Pharmacy wrong medication incident, and you are looking for answers as to whether you could make a claim against a pharmacy, this page could offer you guidance.

Within the Boots prescription error guide below, you will find information that covers pharmacy negligence compensation claims in detail. We offer information on the kinds of mistakes that could be made while dispensing medication at a pharmacy, as well as looking at eligibility criteria for making a pharmacy claim. Also included are potential compensation payouts, and details on getting further help. If you require clarification on any of the points included within this guide, please do not hesitate to call Legal Helpline on 0161 696 9685. Otherwise, please read on for useful information and advice on making a claim.

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A Guide To Pharmacy Wrong Medication Errors By Boots

Boots is one of the more well-known high street pharmacies. It has over 1000 outlets in the UK, and services customers with beauty products, health supplements, over the counter medications and prescription medicines. While many people visiting Boots for prescription collection do so with no problems whatsoever, some people may not have had such a stress-free service. If you have suffered harm as a result of a Boots Pharmacy wrong medication incident, you may have some questions about what happened and whether there is anything you could do about it.

This guide is meant to offer those who have been harmed by a Boots prescription error the help and support they need to redress the balance of what has happened to them. In the sections below, there is a wealth of information pertaining to the duty of care of a pharmacist, how medication dispensing services can go wrong, and how to claim compensation if you have been harmed by prescription negligence.

It would be prudent of us to mention, however, that not all prescription negligence incidents could be the fault of the pharmacy. If, for example, your GP has made a mistake when drawing up a prescription, it may be their fault that you have been harmed, and it may be that you would need to pursue a claim against the GP  instead. While this guide generally concentrates on mistakes made at a Boots Pharmacy, we could also help you if you were harmed by medical negligence by your GP.

What Is A Pharmacy Prescription Error

A pharmacy prescription error is, essentially, something that goes wrong at a pharmacy that causes a patient to suffer avoidable harm. Being given the wrong medication, the wrong instructions, or being given the wrong dosage of medication could cause a number of issues for a patient, including under medication of an existing condition, overdose, or even a drug interaction.

Prescription errors could be caused in a number of different ways, from mislabelling of boxes and bottles to a mistake in administration, which means you were given someone else’s prescription. However, pharmacies should have systems and protocols in place to ensure that this does not happen. If those systems and protocols are not adhered to, and you suffer harm, this could constitute clinical negligence, and you could be eligible to claim compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Proving a Boots Pharmacy wrong medication claim might be complicated and would require significant investigation in order to successfully argue the case. This is why some claimants rely on the help of a medical negligence solicitor to help them make such claims.

What Do Pharmacists Do?

A pharmacist is responsible for many things within a pharmacy. These include:

  • Being responsible for the quality of the medication supplied to their patients
  • Ensuring that they supply medicines in a lawful manner
  • Ensuring the suitability of medications prescribed to a patient before dispensing them
  • Giving advice on how to take medicines, giving information on medicines, and offering advice on any reaction that could occur.
  • Answering patient questions

As well as this, a pharmacist should:

  • Be able to supervise the supply chain of medicines, and make sure pharmacy protocols and systems are safe and effective
  • Respond to patient’s symptom queries and advise them according to professional standards
  • Supervise the preparation of prescriptions to ensure they are quality assessed prior to medications being given to patients

If a pharmacist fails in their responsibilities toward patients, this could lead to them being held liable for harm caused by their negligence.

What Prescription Error Circumstances Could I Claim For?

There are many different ways in which prescription negligence could occur. If you can prove that avoidable harm was caused by the pharmacist’s mistake, you could be eligible to claim.

Incidents could include:

  • Wrong ingredients mixed into prescription medication
  • Wrong prescription given to the patient
  • Mislabelling of medication
  • Wrong dosage dispensed (too high or too low)
  • Wrong instructions given
  • Damaged medications/ingredients included in prescription

Whatever pharmacy mistake you’ve suffered from, whether it is included on the list above or not, we can help assess whether you could be entitled to compensation.

What Effects Could The Wrong Medication Have On The Claimant?

The effects that a claimant could suffer from after taking the wrong medication could vary depending on the type of medication and the dosage they are given, as well as their general health. In general terms, some of the effects of taking Boots prescriptions medicines that were incorrect could include:

  • Undertreatment of an illness/condition – If the medicine that was dispensed was incorrect, and was too low a dosage, or was not the right medication for the condition that the claimant was suffering from, this could cause the illness or condition to be undertreated. In some cases, this could lead to a worsening of the condition. This could have serious ramifications and could lead to the injured party’s condition becoming harder to treat. They may need treatment that is more invasive, for example.
  • Overmedication – Overmedicating a condition or treating a condition that the injured party didn’t have could lead to a patient suffering an overdose. While with some medications this could be relatively minor, and may not cause any long-term issues, in some cases, overdoses could cause fatalities.
  • Drug Interaction – If a patient is given the wrong medication due to a Boots prescription error, and it interacts with other medication that they are taking, the consequences could be quite severe. This is why, when prescribing your medication, your doctor would usually ask you if you were taking any other medication so that they could avoid this situation.

Raising Concerns About A Pharmacist In The UK

If you are wondering how to go about reporting a problem with Boots automated prescription services, or any other issues at a Boots Pharmacy, it may be wise to contact the pharmacy themselves in the first instance.

However, if you have suffered illness or injury because of a Boots Pharmacy wrong medication incident, there may be other parties you could report the incident to. These could include:

  • NHS England – If you have received the wrong medicine for your prescription you may wish to report it to the NHS. The link to do so can be found here.
  • General Pharmaceutical Council – This organisation has a page that offers advice on reporting concerns about your pharmacy, or your pharmacist, on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s website. You can find the link for this here.

The pharmacist or pharmacy should also report dispensing errors to the National Reporting and Learning Service.

Pharmacy Prescription Error Compensation Claims Calculator

If you are able to conclusively prove negligence, you may be wondering how much compensation you could be eligible to receive for your Boots Pharmacy wrong medication claim. It would be prudent for us to mention here that there is no set award for any given injury. Your wrong medication case would need to be assessed by an independent medical expert if you chose to go ahead with a claim. This expert would review the evidence in your case, examine you and provide a report that would detail your injuries and prognosis. This report would then be used to value your claim.

It’s important to remember, therefore, that the figures in this table are just estimates. They are taken from an official document known as the Judicial College Guidelines which provides valuations for different injuries based on previously decided cases.  We have chosen to include information on payouts for specific injuries that we believe could relate to this type of case. If your injury is not included in the table below, please do get in touch. We would be able to look into this for you to see approximately how much compensation you could be eligible for.

Type of injuryNotesSettlement Bracket (Approximate)
Severe cases of Toxicosis£36,060 to £49,270These would have resulted in admission to hospital. Injured parties would have suffered severe pain, as well as fever diarrhoea, vomiting and more. The long-term complications of cases in this bracket could include the development of IBS, or other functional bowel issues, and these may leave the injured party with an inability to work.
Serious short-lived posioning£8,950 to £18,020Diarrhoea/vomiting that lasts around 2-4 weeks with continuing symptoms lasting for some time afterwards. Symptoms could affect the sex life of the injured party, as well as the enjoyment of meals, as well as the function of their bowels.
Less Severe Poisoning£3,710 to £8,950Serious levels of cramping, fatigue, discomfort and other associated symptoms. Injured party would likely have had a full recovery within 1-2 years.
Poisoning£860 to £3,710Days/weeks of diarrhoea, pain and cramps.
Damage to kidneysUp to £60,050If natural function is lost, or if the injured party’s risks of developing UTI are significant.
Damage to the bowel£41,850 to £65,440Injured parties in this bracket may have had their ability to work affected. Their injuries could also limit what foods they could eat. There would be a serious impairment of function.

Special Damages You Could Claim For Wrong Medication Negligence

In addition to the amounts shown above, you could also receive special damages in a successful Boots prescription error settlement. Claiming special damages can help to compensate you for any losses or expenses you may have incurred, or will incur in the future, as a result of your injuries or illness.

These could include:

  • Medical costs – Whether you have paid for counselling, prescription costs, or other medical treatment because of your injuries, you could claim these as special damages.
  • Travel costs – You might have had to pay for transport to legal appointments or medical appointments. These are just two types of travel costs that could be included within your Boots Pharmacy wrong medication claim.
  • Care costs – Someone might have had to help you with washing or dressing or other daily tasks while you recovered from the medical negligence you suffered. These care costs could be claimed as special damages too.
  • Losses of earnings – If you were unable to work because of your injuries, you might have received less income. If so, these losses could also be included within your claim. If the injuries are severe enough, meaning you cannot return to work, you may be able to claim loss of future income too.

If there are other costs or losses that you believe relate directly to the harm caused by a prescription error, you might be able to claim for them. Our advisors could check this for you.

Steps To Take To Claim Compensation From A Pharmacy

If you have taken the wrong medication due to a Boots Pharmacy wrong medication incident, then the first thing we advise you to do is to seek medical attention. Once you have done so, whether you are thinking of making a claim for prescription negligence or not, we would advise you to consider taking the following actions so that you could have useful evidence in case you did wish to pursue a claim later on. It is, however, important to remember that strict time limits apply to making a claim. In prescription negligence cases, you have just 3 years from the date of the negligent act. Our advice, therefore, is always to seek legal advice as soon as possible. 

  1. Consider writing a statement or journal of what has happened to you – this could be useful for you to refer back to after some time has passed as you might forget some of the details over time. You could include details of your illness, the medicine you should be taken, the symptoms you experienced and the impact they had on your life.
  2. Think about collecting photographic evidence. Whether this is taking photographs of the incorrect medication next to the correct medication, or the prescription itself, this could prove useful.
  3. See if you can get any witness details. This could be from the pharmacist, or an employee of the pharmacy, or other customers.
  4. Seek legal advice. To check your eligibility to make a claim and to find out what claims time limit could apply to your Boots prescription error claim it may be wise to seek legal advice. We could offer advice for free over the phone on 0161 696 9685.

Why Make Your Claim Against A Pharmacy With Us?

Claiming compensation for being given the wrong medicine could be quite complicated, especially if the defendant denies liability. Whether you are still recovering from the harm you have been caused by a Boots prescription error or not, it could be a wise idea to seek out assistance from a medical negligence lawyer.

Not only could a medical negligence solicitor take on the legwork of building and arguing your case, but they would also negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Sometimes it may be tempting to take the first offer, but one of our experienced solicitors from our panel could help ascertain whether this could be a fair offer or whether they could argue for a higher level of compensation.

Finding a good lawyer, however, can take a bit of searching, but with Legal Helpline, we could help make the search process much less stressful. Not only could our advisors provide free advice, and a free, no-obligation eligibility check for your case, but we could also connect you with a No Win, No Fee lawyer to help fight for compensation on your behalf.

Here at Legal Helpline, we have a hand-picked team of advisors who are highly experienced in offering advice and support to claimants who have suffered all kinds of injuries due to someone else’s negligence or dangerous behaviour.

When you call us, you’ll be connected to one of our advisors who will assess your case and answer questions you might have. If our advisors believe you could have a valid claim, they can then offer to connect you with a specialist solicitor to start your case.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we could help you, simply call our team – we’ll be happy to talk to you. There’s no obligation to use our services, and it’s free to call.

No Win, No Fee Pharmacy Wrong Medication Claims

Some claimants might be put off making a claim because they may fear that they would have to pay for the services of a medical negligence lawyer upfront. This, however, would not be the case if they chose to make a claim with a No Win, No Fee lawyer. All of the solicitors on our panel will offer you the opportunity to enter into a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the opportunity to pursue justice. You will not have any fees to pay at the outset or during the claim, and if your case doesn’t succeed, your solicitor will not seek any of their fees from you. 

If your claim was successful, your solicitor might seek a small payment to cover their fees. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be taken from compensation at the end of your claim. The success fee is capped by legislation.   

Pursuing a claim on a No Win, No Fee basis presents a lower financial risk, especially as there is no need to pay the lawyer upfront. If you’d like to discuss this in more detail with our team, we’d be glad to hear from you.

Begin A Pharmacy Prescription Error Claim

Are you now ready to get further advice and support with making a Boots Pharmacy wrong medication claim? Or, are you still unsure as to whether you could be eligible to claim? Contact us today! You can reach us by phone on 0161 696 9685, via email at claims@legalhelpline.co.uk, through live chat on the website, or via the contact form. We do not charge for advice, and you are under no obligation to utilise our services by calling us. 

Useful Links And Resources

Pharmaceutical Council – Here, you can visit the General Pharmaceutical Council’s website to look in more depth about how to report a prescription negligence incident.

Information on Boots Pharmacy NHS Prescription Services – Here, you can see information regarding Boots NHS prescription services from the NHS website.

Poisoning – Here, you can read NHS information on poisoning. This may be useful if you have taken medication that you should not have been given.

Can I Sue A Pharmacy – Our general guide on taking action against a pharmacy can be found here.

Prescription Error Claims – Here, you’ll find guidance and support if you’ve suffered a prescription error that has caused you to suffer harm.

Hospital Negligence – If you have suffered from medical negligence at a hospital, this guide could be useful.

 

Written by JJ

Edited by REB