Sainsbury’s Pharmacy Prescription Error Claims Guide – I Had A Prescription Error, Could I Claim Compensation?

Pharmacies in supermarkets are a common sight, and if you have visited one of the larger Sainsbury’s store, you may notice that they offer a range of pharmacy services, such as flu jabs, advice on minor ailments and more. Sainsbury’s pharmacies are subject to the same regulations as all other UK pharmacies and should offer a safe effective service. But what happens if they make a mistake, which causes you to suffer harm? Here, we focus on Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication claims, showing how you could make a claim if you have suffered avoidable harm because of a Sainsbury’s prescription error, such as being given the wrong dosage of medication or the wrong medication entirely. You will find information about the duty of care that a Sainsbury’s pharmacist has towards you, as well as guidance on how much compensation could be appropriate for certain injuries caused by being given the wrong medication. We hope you find the below guidance useful and would encourage you to call us here at Legal Helpline on 0161 696 9685 for clarification on anything contained within this guide or to begin a claim for compensation.

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A Guide On Prescription Error Claims Against Sainsbury’s Pharmacy

Sainsbury's prescription error negligence claimsIf you have suffered avoidable harm as a result of a Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication incident, then you could be wondering what you could do to redress the balance. Whether you have been given the wrong dosage of medication, been given the wrong instructions on how often you should take your medication, or been given the wrong medication entirely, these types of prescription errors could cause you to suffer symptoms of an overdose, or may result in your existing medical condition getting worse.

If this has happened to you, the sections below could provide some useful guidance on making a claim for compensation. Covered below is information on the prescription error rate, reasons you might have received the wrong medication, the effects that this could have on you, and information pertaining to prescription negligence compensation amounts.

What Is A Prescription Error By A Pharmacist?

In simple terms, if a pharmacist breaches that duty of care and makes a mistake in the preparation or dispensing of medications, which causes avoidable harm to a patient, this could be deemed as negligence. A pharmacist has a duty of care towards their patients to provide a safe and effective service. If they fail in this duty, by dispensing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of medication, or giving incorrect instructions as to how to take medication, this could cause problems for the patients which could include an overdose of medication, an allergic reaction, a drug interaction or even for a medical condition to be undertreated.

There are a number of different ways in which a Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication incident could occur. There might be a mislabelling of medication, or a mistake with the mixing of ingredients, for example. However, all pharmacies should have procedures in place to avoid such mistakes and they should adhere to certain standards. If these safety procedures were to fail, leading to a pharmacy providing a substandard service, and a patient suffers harm that could have been avoided, they could look to claim compensation for the harm they’ve suffered, as well as any monetary costs and losses that have resulted from their illness/injury.

What Does A Pharmacist Do?

Pharmacists have a wide variety of responsibilities which include:

  • Quality medicines supplied to patients.
  • The responsibility to ensure that medicines are supplied lawfully.
  • The responsibility to ensure that medicines are suitable for patients before they are dispensed.
  • The responsibility to give advice and information on medicines, as well as how to take them, as well as any risks associated with taking medicines.
  • The responsibility to answer questions from patients

Pharmacists should also:

  • Supervise the medication supply chain, ensuring that safety protocols are observed and are effective and safe.
  • Respond to symptom queries from patients, advising them according to the professional standards that they should adhere to.
  • Supervise prescription preparation, assessing the quality of such prescriptions to ensure they are fit for use.

In What Circumstances Could You Claim For A Prescription Error?

If you can prove breach of the pharmacist’s duty of care towards you has resulted in you suffering avoidable harm, you could make a claim against them. However, we should mention that not every prescription error could result in a claim against a pharmacy. You may have been given the wrong prescription by your GP in the first place. If this is the case and you’ve suffered harm because of your GP’s error, you could claim compensation against the GP instead. We should also mention that you could not make a claim for simply being given the wrong medication. You could only claim if this type of negligence had caused you injury or illness.

Claims that could be launched against a pharmacist and chemist could include instances where:

  • The wrong ingredients were included in prescription medication
  • The patient was given someone else’s prescription
  • The labelling on the medication was incorrect
  • The wrong instructions as to how to take the medication were given to the patient
  • There were out of date or damaged ingredients included within the prescription

If you’ve been harmed by a Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication incident due to the mistakes above, or because of another negligent act, why not call Legal Helpline to get a free, no-obligation assessment of your case.

What Could Be The Effects Of The Wrong Medication?

Those who have been given the wrong medication because of a prescription error could suffer a range of ill-effects. These could include:

Symptoms of an overdose – If your medicine was dispensed in too large a dose, this could cause you to suffer harm. Certain medicines, when taken in doses that are too large, could cause dizziness, palpitations, and even kidney damage. In extreme cases, they may lead to patients having difficulty breathing, and could even end in unconsciousness or death.

Undertreatment of conditions/illnesses – If you are given medication in too low a dose, or were told to spread the doses too far apart, this could lead to ineffective treatment of a medical condition or illness. In some cases, this might lead to the condition or illness getting worse and becoming more difficult to treat.

Allergic reaction – If you were given the wrong medication because of a Sainsbury’s prescription error, and were allergic to it, you could suffer an allergic reaction. These could range in severity from minor reactions such as skin rashes to serious cases of anaphylaxis.

Drug interactions – If the wrong medication is dispensed to you and you are already taking other medication, it could cause a drug interaction. Doctors should take care when prescribing medications to patients who are already taking medicines and there are protocols in place at hospitals and GP surgeries to ensure that interacting drugs are not prescribed together. However, if a pharmacy dispenses the wrong medication, this could mean that the safety protocols from the person prescribing the medication could have been in vain. Drug interactions could range in seriousness, but if they are the fault of the pharmacy, then you could claim compensation for avoidable harm you’ve suffered because of them.

How To Raise Concerns About Pharmacists

If you’re considering reporting a prescription error, there are several ways in which you could go about this. You could:

Report the incident to the pharmacy – It might be wise to put your report in writing so that you have a record of having reported the incident. The pharmacy also has a duty to report dispensing errors to the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS).

Report the incident to NHS England – You could report a Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication incident to the NHS if it concerns an NHS prescription. Details of how to get in touch with NHS England can be found here.

Report the incident to the General Pharmaceutical Council – If you’d like to report concerns about a pharmacy to the GPC, you could do so here.

Check If You Are Eligible To Claim Compensation For Pharmacy Negligence

To be eligible to claim for a Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication incident, you would have to prove:

  1. Breach of duty – You would have to demonstrate that the clinical pharmacist had a duty of care to you and that they breached that duty of care.
  2. Causation – You would have to demonstrate that the prescription negligence you suffered caused you to suffer avoidable harm. This could, in some cases, be quite complicated, especially when you could have been suffering ill-health because of an existing medical condition.

You would also have to launch your claim within the limitation period for such claims. While the time limitation period is usually 3 years, with clinical negligence claims, you may not be instantly aware of the harm you’ve suffered. The time limitation period would still likely be three years, but the date the limitation period would begin would be the date of discovery that you’d suffered harm because of the prescription error. This could be days or even months from the date you were handed the wrong medication.

To find out how long you could have to make a claim, why not contact us here at Legal Helpline. We would be glad to advise you.

Pharmacy Wrong Medication Compensation Claims Calculator

Do you think you might have a claim for compensation but are not sure how much compensation you could be entitled to? If so, the table below could provide some useful information. We have opted to display information pertaining to the Judicial College’s Guidelines for injury compensation brackets in place of a medical negligence claims calculator. We have tried to use injuries that we feel could relate to this type of claim but if your injury is not listed, please do not assume you would not be able to claim for it. We could offer further guidance on other injuries over the phone.

Injury typeExplanationApproximate settlement bracket
Toxicosis (Severe)In these cases, there may have been an admission to hospital for some weeks for the injured party. Symptoms could include severe levels of pain and fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. There could also be long-term effects of such an illness, which could include the development of IBS, and the ability of the injured party to be well enough to work.£36,060 to £49,270
Serious (Short-Lived) PoisoningDiarrhoea/vomiting that could last around 2-4 weeks, and this could cause longer term issues affecting the injured party’s food enjoyment, function of the bowels and sex life.£8,950 to £18,020
PoisoningSerious levels of discomfort could feature here, with fatigue, cramps and more. Full recovery could, however, be complete within 1-2 years.£3,710 to £8,950
PoisoningDays/weeks of pain, cramping and diarrhoea could lead to cases being put into this bracket.£860 to £3,710
Damage To KidneysLeaving natural loss of function or significant risks of the development of UTIs in the future.Up to £60,050
Damage to BowelsWhere an impairment of the bowel’s function leads to an inability to work. It could also limit what food can be consumed.Up to £65,440

It could be important for us to mention that these are only approximations of how much you could receive for your claim. The value of any medical negligence claim rests on its unique circumstances. In terms of how much compensation could be appropriate for your injury, this would only usually be assessed based on the strength of the medical evidence. This medical evidence would be collected by an independent expert, who would review your medical records, and examine you at an appointment you would have to attend as part of your claim. They would then write a report that could be used when valuing your claim.

Special Damages Which May Be Claimed

Special damages could also form part of your pharmacy negligence claim, just as they would if you were making a personal injury claim. These are meant to offer compensation for financial costs/losses you have experienced directly because of your injuries. These could include, but are not limited to:

Care costs – Have you needed someone to help you with day-to-day activities that you could not do because of your injury, such as washing or dressing? If so, care costs may be included as part of your claim.

Medical expenses – If you have had to pay prescription costs, for physiotherapy, counselling or any other treatments as a direct result of your injuries, these costs could be claimed for.

Travel costs – Have you needed to pay for transport to the hospital, or to an appointment with your lawyer. Or, did you need to pay for transport to and from work because you were unable to drive due to your injuries? These are just some examples of travel costs that you could claim for.

Loss of earnings – If you have been unable to work due to your injuries, you may not be paid the same amount as you would have earned normally. These losses could form part of your claim. Not only that but if you were unable to carry on working after your injuries, you could claim for future loss of income too.

It could be useful for us to mention here that it is of the highest importance that you keep any proof of costs and losses that you incurred because of your injuries. This could include receipts, bank statements, payslips and more. It would be wise to keep these all together to ensure that you have all the evidence of these costs to hand to provide to your lawyer. This would make it easier for your lawyer to include such costs in your claim.

Steps You Could Take When Making A Claim Against A Pharmacy

If you’ve suffered avoidable harm due to a prescription error, we would encourage you to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Once you have done so, however, you might want to take the following steps to ensure that you have all the evidence you might need to make a Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication claim.

  1. Write a statement which includes all the events surrounding the pharmacy negligence you’ve suffered harm from. This could include details of the medication you were supposed to have, the symptoms you suffered, what action you took (in terms of what medical help you sought) and what effects the clinical negligence injury had on you.
  2. Collect witness details. It could be useful for you to note down the pharmacist’s name, as well as contact details of others that might have witnessed negligence by the pharmacist.
  3. Collect photographic evidence if available. This could include photographs of your medication or your prescription.
  4. Get some legal advice – a clinical negligence claim could require you to prove that pharmacy negligence caused you to have suffered more harm than the original illness you were experiencing. This could, in some cases, be quite complicated. Getting appropriate advice and support with making such a claim could be of real value to you.

Why Choose Us To Handle Your Claim?

If you’re interested in learning how Legal Helpline could help you with your claim, you might be interested to learn that our advisors could:

  1. Answer any questions you might have about the clinical negligence claims process
  2. Check your eligibility to make a claim
  3. Connect you with a lawyer who could handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis

We could do all of the above free of charge to you, with no-obligation for you to use our services or take the advice we offer.

Our panel of solicitors have years of experience in offering guidance and support to claimants who have been harmed by someone else’s negligence or irresponsible behaviour. Our panel of solicitors will ensure that everything is clearly explained to you throughout your case, making sure to explain any legal terms you may not understand so that you could fully understand your position, every step of the way.

Our previous clients would attest to our commitment to offering a high level of customer service, and all of the lawyers we could provide you with have the capability to fight for the maximum compensation for your claim.

No Win No Fee Prescription Error Claims Against Pharmacies

A medical negligence lawyer works in a similar way to a personal injury lawyer, in that they could help fight for compensation for avoidable harm caused by someone else’s negligence or irresponsible behaviour. A specialist medical negligence lawyer could have experience in handling cases such as those involving a prescription error. Medical negligence claims could be considered quite complex in some cases, so choosing a specialist medical negligence solicitor, instead of a personal injury solicitor that specialises in other types of claims, such as workplace accident claims, for example, could be a wise decision.

If you’ve been considering making a claim for compensation but are worried about having to pay for a medical negligence lawyer upfront, you may be relieved to learn that you could make a claim without having to do so. No Win No Fee claims do not require any funds upfront. Instead, you would be expected to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement at the beginning of your case, promising your pharmacy negligence lawyer a percentage of your total payout once your claim has been successfully settled. This ‘success fee’ would be no more than 25% of your claim, as it is subject to a government cap, and the percentage you’d be required to pay your lawyer would be discussed between you and your lawyer before you sign the agreement.

Once a signed agreement is in place, your lawyer would start work on your Sainsbury’s pharmacy wrong medication claim. Once they had negotiated a settlement for you, and this had been paid out, they would deduct their percentage, with the rest of the compensation going to benefit you.

You may be wondering what happens if your lawyer cannot negotiate a settlement for you, even if you have a valid claim. In these cases, you would not be expected to settle the ‘success fee’.

We know you might have some further questions about making a claim on a No Win No Fee basis, and we would be happy to furnish you with the answers to your questions if you get in touch with our team.

Begin A Prescription Error Claim Against A Pharmacy

Whether you have further questions about your eligibility to claim or about the claims process, or you’re looking to start a claim and would like some support, we’re here to help. Whatever method you choose to get in touch with us by, we’ll be glad to assist you. You can reach our specially trained advisors by calling 0161 696 9685, or via email on [email protected]. Alternatively, you could fill out the contact form or use the live chat feature instead. With no charge for advice, there’s no reason not to call us for advice and support with your pharmacy wrong medication claim, so why not call today?

Resources And Helpful Links

Prescribed The Wrong Dosage? – If you have suffered harm from being prescribed the wrong dosage of medication, this guide could offer some useful advice.

Prescription Error At A Care Home – Were you harmed because of a prescription error while in a care home? If so, there could be some useful information in this guide.

Wrong Medication Claims – This general guide to being given the wrong medication could be useful to you.

What To Expect From Your Pharmacy – Here, you can read the General Pharmaceutical Council’s page on what to expect from your pharmacy.

Search For A Pharmacy Inspection Report – If you would like to know the results of your local pharmacy’s latest inspection, you could find it here.

Guide by JS

Editor MA.