I Was Harmed Because Of A Prescription Error By A Pharmacy, Could I Claim?
Well Pharmacy has a large number of pharmacies across the UK. They’re based in high street stores and also in medical centres. The role any pharmacy plays is vital in ensuring a patient gets the medication that a doctor has prescribed for them. Any mistake which affects patient safety and causes suffering could entitle the person to claim compensation. This guide will look at claiming compensation for a Well Pharmacy prescription error. We’ll review what could cause a mistake to be made, what effect that mistake could have and when you might be entitled to begin a claim.
At Legal Helpline, our advisors provide free legal advice about the claims process. We also provide a no-obligation assessment of any claim. After the assessment, if your claim is viable, we could introduce you to a No Win, No Fee solicitor from our specialist panel. If you’d like to discuss your claim straight away, please call our team on 0161 696 9685.
If you’d rather find out more about when being given the wrong medication by a pharmacist could lead to a claim, please continue reading.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide On Claims For Prescription Errors By Well Pharmacy
- What Is A Wrong Medication Error?
- What Is The Role Of A Pharmacist?
- In What Circumstances Could I Claim For A Prescription Error?
- What May Be The Impact Of A Wrong Medication Error?
- How To Raise A Concern About Your Pharmacist
- Eligibility To Claim For Injury Or Illness Due To A Prescription Error
- Compensation Calculator For Pharmacy Wrong Medication Errors
- Special Damages Victims Of Prescription Errors Could Claim
- Steps To Claim Compensation For A Prescription Error
- Why Let Our Team Handle Your Claim?
- No Win, No Fee Pharmacy Prescription Error Claims
- Begin Prescription Error Claim Against A Pharmacy
- Resources And Helpful Links
A Guide On Claims For Prescription Errors By Well Pharmacy
As part of a medical consultation, your GP will check that any medication they provide is suitable. They’ll check that it doesn’t contain anything you’re known to be allergic to and that it doesn’t conflict with any other medication you take. Once they’ve prescribed the medication, it’s therefore essential that the pharmacist dispenses the medication correctly. Failure to do so, which causes you to suffer, might mean you’re entitled to compensation.
Something to bear in mind is that if you’re going to proceed with a claim for a Well Pharmacy prescription error, you’ll need to make sure you do so within the relevant statutory time limit. For medical negligence cases, this is 3 years from the date of the negligent act or diagnosis of a subsequent illness, the same as the personal injury claims time limit of 3-years. A failure to issue a claim in this time period may see you barred from claiming altogether. T
In this guide, we’re going to consider the types of Well pharmacist error that could happen, what suffering they might lead to and when you can complain about pharmacy safety. We’ll then go on to look at when you might be eligible to seek compensation and how much might be paid.
Claims could be possible for mistakes by a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or a Well Pharmacy locum pharmacist. We’ll explain how liability can be proven later in the guide.
When you’ve finished reading, if you have any outstanding queries or would like to proceed with a claim, please contact a member of our team. The advice we provide is completely free.
What Is A Wrong Medication Error?
A prescription error is where you’re made ill, are injured or your existing illness becomes worse as a result of being given the wrong medicine. This can happen in several ways including receiving the wrong medication, instructions, dose or strength. To be able to claim compensation, the mistake will need to cause you to suffer in some way.
The following are example scenarios which might lead to a prescription error occurring:
- If the pharmacy is busy or short-staffed and the dispensing is rushed.
- Where a technician failed to check the meaning of an abbreviation they didn’t understand.
- If the pharmacy gave you somebody else’s prescription.
- Where medication is dispensed in error because it looks the same as the prescribed drug.
- Where the medication dispensed in error has a similar name to the prescribed drug.
Whatever the reason, if you’ve suffered as the result of a Well Pharmacy prescription error, you could be entitled to begin a claim. Please contact an advisor for free advice today.
What Is The Role Of A Pharmacist?
The role of pharmacists in the UK is defined by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). In their list of pharmacist responsibilities, they state that pharmacists must ensure:
- The quality of any medicine given to patients.
- That medication is dispensed in line with the law.
- That any medication a patient receives is suitable.
- That advice on any side effects and how medication should be taken is given.
As well as those responsibilities, pharmacists should:
- Offer services like smoking cessation and cholesterol-reducing schemes.
- Provide over the counter medication based on the symptoms described by patients.
- Use systems and procedures which are fit for purpose.
- Provide advice to other medical professionals on effective medication usage.
In What Circumstances Could I Claim For A Prescription Error?
There are many different reasons why you could claim for a prescription error. Here are a few instances which could lead to a claim if they caused you to suffer:
- Where the medicine provided was a different dose or strength to what was prescribed.
- If the packaging your medication came in was damaged.
- Where medication provided was out of date.
- If the instructions on how to take the medication were incorrect.
- Or if you’re provided with somebody else’s medication.
This list isn’t exhaustive, so don’t worry if you don’t see a mistake listed. We could still help you begin a claim. Please contact one of our advisors on 0161 696 9685 and let them know what happened.
What May Be The Impact Of A Wrong Medication Error?
The type of suffering caused by a prescription error can vary. In minor cases, very mild symptoms might occur. However, the worst pharmacist mistakes can be fatal. Here’s a range of reactions that can occur when you take the wrong medication:
- First of all, it’s possible that you won’t suffer any adverse reaction at all. If that happens, and your underlying condition doesn’t get worse as a result of the mistake, then you wouldn’t be able to claim compensation.
- On the flip side, if you take a drug which doesn’t affect you at all, then you may still suffer because you weren’t taking the medication the doctor prescribed to manage or cure your initial illness. If that’s the case, you might be able to begin a claim.
- Where incorrect medication causes an adverse drug reaction or side effect, you could be entitled to claim. The symptoms can range from nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. In more serious cases, your internal organs (bladder, bowels, liver etc.), could suffer damage. These injuries can require treatment in hospital and might take up to a couple of years to resolve.
- Finally, incorrect medicine may cause an allergic reaction. Even though the doctor who prescribed the medication will have made checks for allergens, if you’re given the wrong type of medicine, you could suffer. Mild allergic reactions can cause symptoms like a dry and raised red rash (hives), watery eyes, itchiness, dizziness, or swelling to the face and lips. However, more serious allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis. This can be fatal. As such it should be treated as a medical emergency.
How To Raise A Concern About Your Pharmacist
There are times when you might want to raise a concern or lodge a complaint about a pharmacist. This is done through the GPhC. Complaints raised are dealt with using their policies and may affect whether the pharmacist can remain a registered professional.
You don’t have to make a complaint to be able to claim compensation for medical negligence. However, sometimes they can help prove what mistake happened. Therefore, speak to your solicitor for advice on whether they want you to raise a complaint or not.
Some of the reasons for raising concerns, according to the GPhC, include:
- Dispensing errors such as out of date medicines, incorrect instructions, or where the wrong dose of medicine was provided.
- Fraud or dishonesty, such as wrongly claiming funding from the NHS.
- A criminal conviction which the GPhC isn’t aware of. This won’t automatically stop a pharmacist working but the GPhC will investigate.
- Working under the influence.
- Working while unregistered to do so.
- Where a pharmacist develops a health condition which could affect their ability to practice safely.
Eligibility To Claim For Injury Or Illness Due To A Prescription Error
How medical negligence cases are proven is slightly different from a normal personal injury claim. To be eligible to claim for a Well Pharmacy prescription error, you’d need to show that:
- The pharmacy owed you a duty of care. If you are a patient of the pharmacy, or you have attended a pharmacy for advice, they will most likely owe you a duty of care.
- There was a breach of that duty by the pharmacy. This means that the service provided was below what could be reasonably expected of a competent pharmacist in the same situation.
- That you were made ill, were injured or your underlying illness was made worse because of the prescription error.
If you can show that all of the above were true and led to you being given the wrong medicine, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim.
Compensation Calculator For Pharmacy Wrong Medication Errors
We’re now going to consider how much compensation might be paid in a Well Pharmacy wrong medication claim. Unfortunately, as every claim is different, we can only provide an estimate here. To receive a more accurate assessment of how much compensation you could receive, please contact an advisor on 0161 696 9685.
Rather than use a personal injury claims calculator, which can be tricky to use, we’ve provided the table below. It provides examples of compensation amounts for relevant injuries and illnesses. The figures are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication that details compensation awards made by the courts for different injuries.
Claim Type Compensation Further Comments
Adverse Reaction To Medication Up to 49,270 These will cause symptoms such as acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. The patient will probably spend some days or weeks in hospital. There may be additional problems like haemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and incontinence.
Adverse Reaction To Medication Up to £18,020 These will result in serious but short-lived symptoms. They are likely to include vomiting and diarrhoea. These initial symptoms will reduce in around 2 to 4 weeks but bowel function and enjoyment of food and bowel might be affected for up to 2 years.
Adverse Reaction To Medication Up to £8,950 These will result in fatigue, stomach cramps or alteration of the bowel function. There will be some significant discomfort that could result in hospitalisation for a few days. These symptoms will last for around 2 weeks and complete recovery might take as long as between 1 and 2 years.
Adverse Reaction To Medication Up to £3,710 These will result in symptoms that have varying degrees of disabling pain. They will probably include stomach cramps and diarrhoea but will usually not last more than a few weeks.
Bladder Injuries Up to £75,010 These will result in symptoms such as incontinence, pain and serious impairment of function.
Bowels Injuries Up to £65,440 These will lead to temporary colostomy and result in impairment of function.
When a claim is made, the courts will base the compensation amount on the severity of the injuries. Therefore, enough evidence must be supplied to demonstrate the extent of your suffering. As part of the claims process, our panel of solicitors will arrange for you to visit a local, independent medical expert. They’ll assess your case and provide a report which will detail how you suffered, any impact caused and if there is likely to be further suffering going forwards.
Special Damages Victims Of Prescription Errors Could Claim
When you claim a Well Pharmacy prescription error, you’ll be able to claim for general and special damages. General damages are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injury or illness. The table in the previous section provided examples of payments made to cover general damages.
Special damages are awarded to compensate you for financial losses that are caused as a result of being given the wrong medication. There are a few different types of losses that can be claimed for. These include:
- Care Costs.
If you have had to pay for a professional carer to support you while you’re recovering, or even if you needed a family member to help you out, you could claim back the costs or an hourly rate for their support.
- Travelling Expenses.
During your recovery, you might need to travel to your GP, a hospital or a pharmacy on multiple occasions. If that’s the case, you could be entitled to claim back any travel, fuel or parking costs.
- Medical Costs.
While recovering, you might need to pay out for further prescription medications or over the counter treatments. Therefore, these could be claimed too.
- Lost Income.
When you take time off work to recover or to visit your GP, you might lose income because your employer doesn’t pay full sick pay. If that’s the case, you could claim back this loss.
- Future Lost Earnings.
Longer-term suffering might have an impact on your ability to work. Therefore, it’s possible that you could claim for future lost earnings. This will take into consideration your age, current salary and job prospects, amongst other factors.
Try to retain receipts, wage slips and bank statements to make claiming for special damages easier.
Steps To Claim Compensation For A Prescription Error
When claiming for negligence in a pharmacy, you’ll need evidence to support your claim. This will need to demonstrate what happened, who was at fault and how you suffered. Therefore, if you’re thinking of claiming against a pharmacist, here are some of the things you could use as evidence:
- Your medical records from your GP. These are useful aids in proving what you were originally prescribed. Furthermore, they can show what level of suffering was caused by the prescription error.
- The original packaging that your medication came in. This might be a bottle, box or a blister pack.
- Samples of the medication you were provided with. This is important if the medication needs to be sent away for testing to prove what it is.
- A copy of your original prescription.
- Witness details could be provided as well if somebody else heard the advice a pharmacist gave you.
You are perfectly within your rights to ask for copies of medical records and prescriptions from your GP. Simply contact the surgery and ask how you can formally request them.
Why Let Our Team Handle Your Claim?
Legal Helpline is here to assist anybody who’s considering making a clinical negligence claim against a pharmacy. Here is some more information about us in case you need it.
- Our claims line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.
- We offer completely free legal advice.
- Our advisors can assess your claim on a no-obligation basis.
- The solicitors on our panel are specialists in this field with decades of experience. They are well versed in the claims process and will guide you through it expertly.
- If a solicitor from our panel takes on your claim, they’ll explain any legal jargon and the claims process with you directly.
- They’ll also keep you fully updated as the case progresses.
- Importantly, our panel of solicitors always tries to ensure that if you receive compensation, it fully reflects the amount of suffering you’ve been through.
Please contact an advisor if you need to know any more about how we could help you.
No Win, No Fee Pharmacy Prescription Error Claims
It’s quite understandable that if you’re considering claiming for a Well Pharmacy prescription error, you might be put off because you’re worried about the costs involved. To reduce the financial risks involved with a claim, and to give you the confidence to seek compensation that you might be entitled to, our panel of solicitors work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Initially, a solicitor from our panel will review your case with you to check there’s a chance it will be successful. If they’re happy to proceed, you’ll be provided with a No Win, No Fee agreement. This is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (or CFA).
The CFA is a contract between you and your solicitor. It will clearly state that you don’t have to pay any upfront fees or anything during the case. Also, there are no solicitor’s fees to pay if the claim is unsuccessful.
In cases where compensation is awarded, the solicitor may ask for a small contribution toward their costs. This is known as a success fee and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped! Importantly, the CFA will tell you exactly what percentage you’ll pay.
If you’d like more information on using a No Win, No Fee service, please contact us today.
Begin Prescription Error Claim Against A Pharmacy
If you’ve read this guide about Well Pharmacy prescription error claims and decided you’d like to make your claim, there are several ways in which you contact us here at Legal Helpline. These include:
- Calling an advisor for free advice about your personal injury claim on 0161 696 9685.
- Using our live chat facility to connect with an online advisor.
- Or, to request a call back from an advisor, please complete this enquiry form.
When you contact us, an advisor will go through your claim with you. They’ll look at what happened, the injuries or illness you suffered and the evidence you have to prove your case. If they believe you might be entitled to compensation, they could refer you to a medical negligence solicitor from our panel who specialises in medical negligence claims. Any claims they handle are done so on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Resources And Helpful Links
As we’ve come to the end of this guide about claiming for a Well Pharmacy prescription error, we’ve decided to provide you with some more information. We hope you find the links below to more of our guides and other resources helpful.
Wrong Dosage Negligence – This guide looks at when you could use a personal injury lawyer to claim because you were given the wrong dose of medication.
Medical Misdiagnosis Claims – A guide which explains how medical negligence claims could be made following a misdiagnosis.
NHS Pharmacy Information – Information from the NHS on what to expect from the pharmacy team.
NHS Drug List – This page shows you all of the medicines currently prescribed on the NHS. It includes information on each medication and also any possible side effects.
Pharmacy Inspection Reports – Finally, this site allows you to search for inspection reports for local pharmacies.
Guide by BE
Edited by REG