How Do I Claim Compensation For Well Pharmacy Negligence?
A visit to a pharmacy might be the last step in any medical treatment after any illness or injury has been diagnosed by a doctor. The idea is that you’ll be given the medication that your doctor has prescribed to hopefully heal your condition or manage your symptoms. But what happens if you’re given the wrong medication? In some cases, the outcome might be minor whereas in others, serious and life-threatening reactions may occur. In this guide, we look at when it could be possible to make a Well Pharmacy wrong medication claim. While the guide focuses on cases that involve a Well Pharmacy, the same principles could be applied to other pharmacies who’ve caused you to suffer because of an error by a pharmacist.
Legal Helpline specialises in assisting those who want to begin a personal injury claim against a responsible party. Our service includes a no obligation assessment of any claim as well as free legal advice on your options. If one of our specialists establishes you’ve got a strong claim, they could refer you to one of our panel of solicitors. Should they agree your claim is valid, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you are ready to begin your claim, please call our team on 0161 696 9685 right away. Alternatively, to find out when you could claim because you were prescribed the wrong medication, please carry on reading.
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claims For Well Pharmacy Negligence
- What Is Well Pharmacy Negligence?
- Statistics Relating To Wrong Medication Negligence In The UK
- Causes Of Wrong Medication Errors By Pharmacists
- Types Of Wrong Medication Errors By A Pharmacy
- What Are The Effects Of Wrong Medication Prescription Errors?
- How Pharmacy Negligence Could Be Prevented
- Pharmacy Negligence Claim Compensation Calculator
- Other Financial Costs You Could Be Compensated For
- No Win No Fee Claims For Well Pharmacy Negligence
- Why Choose Our Team For Your Claim Against A Pharmacy?
- Start Your Claim For Pharmacy Negligence
- Essential Resources
A Guide To Claims For Well Pharmacy Negligence
The role of a pharmacist is essential and requires many years education and training. The reason being that if mistakes are made when dispensing medication, a person could suffer through the negligence of a pharmacist.
When a GP or other medical professional prescribes medication to you, they’ll take into account your symptoms, your age, other medications you may be taking and anything you’re allergic to. As such, any medication prescribed by a medical professional should be safe for you to take. However, if you’re then given the wrong medication by a pharmacist, you may suffer as a consequence, and your underlying condition could get worse.
Throughout this guide, we look at when it might be possible to make a Well Pharmacy wrong medication claim, and at what could potentially happen when given the wrong prescription, how it could happen and when you could be entitled to claim compensation.
If you are considering making a claim, you should be aware of the personal injury claims time limit. Ordinarily, this would start on the date when you were injured. However, when claiming for an error by a chemist, you might not find out about their mistake until later on. Therefore, your time limit could begin on the date you found out about the medical negligence that caused you to suffer.
When you reach the end of this guide, you’ll find links to some additional resources. Also, you’ll find our contact details. If you still have any remaining questions, please feel free to get in touch. Our advisers can provide free legal advice about the claims process for you. Also, they could help you to begin your claim if you’re ready to do so.
What Is Well Pharmacy Negligence?
All pharmacists in the UK are registered and regulated. They are classed as medical professionals and, as such, have a duty of care towards patients. If they breach that duty and you are made to suffer as a consequence of their actions, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
To sue a pharmacist for negligence, you’ll need to prove that:
- They provided a service below what could have been reasonably expected of a competent pharmacist. This known as a breach of duty
- That you suffered in some way for example, you were made ill or your existing condition was made worse
- And that your suffering was caused by the breach of duty
We look at what sort of mistake could lead to a pharmacist dispensing error and provide some statistics on how often they happen.
Reporting pharmacy mistakes is something you are able do when necessary but is not covered too much in this guide other than to say you can get in touch with the General Pharmaceutical Council if and when needed.
Statistics Relating To Wrong Medication Negligence In The UK
In a study by 3 English universities, it has been estimated that more than 200 million medication mistakes are made by the NHS every year. The report was based on 36 different studies and suggested that 71% of the mistakes that could lead to harm were made in primary care.
The primary estimate of the report was that 237 million errors occur in the NHS every year. Furthermore, the report estimated that 712 deaths occur annually as a direct result of an avoidable adverse drug reaction (ADR). However, they also suggested that an ADR could be a contributory factor in 1,700 and 22,303 deaths every year.
A report by the NHS also looked specifically at prescription errors and suggested that 1 in 20 contained errors. In their findings, the NHS report said:
- 4 in 10 prescriptions for the over 75’s had a prescription error
- 42% of errors were deemed minor
- 54% were classed as moderate
- 4% were listed as serious
It’s important to state that these reports were not based on Well Pharmacy wrong medication mistakes. While they may have looked at mistakes at a pharmacy, they also looked at initial prescriptions made by GPs and the medical professionals.
Causes Of Wrong Medication Errors By Pharmacists
There are many different reasons why a pharmacist might make an error. We’ve listed a few potential reasons below. Remember though:
- You can only claim for medical negligence if the mistake caused you to suffer harm in some way
- It could be possible to claim for any type of negligence that caused you to suffer, not just those listed below
Here are some possible reasons that a dispensing error by a pharmacy could occur:
- When a pharmacy is overly busy and short staffed
- A patient receiving the wrong prescription because their name is similar to another patient’s
- Incorrect drugs being dispensed as they have similar names to others
- Drugs being dispensed incorrectly as they look similar to others
- Incorrect dispensing because the technician mis-understood a medical abbreviation
As part of their duty of care, the pharmacist is ultimately responsible for any mistake. Therefore, they need to put safe systems of work and checking procedures in place to minimise any risks. If you were made to suffer because of a mistake, you could sue a pharmacist for negligence even if it was a technician who made the error that caused your suffering.
Types Of Wrong Medication Errors By A Pharmacy
Now we’re going to look at the different types of medication error that could happen.
Mistakes In Administration
If a pharmacy is busy or the technician is not concentrating, it’s possible that the wrong patient’s details could be placed on medication. This could have an adverse effect on the patient who eventually receives the drug.
Dispensing The Wrong Medication
As described above, different drugs might look the same or have similar names. If a pharmacy isn’t organised properly, this could cause confusion and could result in a patient being harmed when the wrong medication is dispensed to them.
Dispensing Incorrect Instructions
As well as giving the correct medication, correct instructions are vital. If the wrong prescription medication instructions label is put onto the medication, the patient could suffer harm as a consequence.
Using Ingredients Which Are Damaged
As with other products, drugs have different shelf lives or best before dates. If they are distributed after their expiry date, they could be ineffective or cause adverse side effects.
Wrongly Mixing Ingredients Or Prescriptions
A pharmacist should always highlight any potential conflicts when dispensing medication to customers. Although the GP may have already checked the patient isn’t using a conflicting prescription or other medicine, there are times when over the counter treatments could also cause problems. Therefore, the pharmacist or their staff should re-check with the patient before dispensing prescribed medication to them.
What Are The Effects Of Wrong Medication Prescription Errors?
As we’ve explained, if you’re going to make a Well Pharmacy wrong medication claim, the pharmacist’s negligence will needed to have caused you some form of suffering. So, what happens if a pharmacist makes a mistake, and what are the potential outcomes?
- You might suffer no adverse side effects when given the wrong medication. However, your underlying illness might get worse because you’re not taking the medicine prescribed by your GP
- Alternatively, you could suffer adverse symptoms such as acute pain, cramps, organ damage, vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea and dizziness. Also, as above, you could find that your condition gets worse due to a lack of treatment
- In the worst case scenarios, if you’re given the wrong prescription, you could suffer an allergic reaction. For some people this can cause symptoms like a runny nose, a rash, a cough or swelling. However, in more serious cases, an allergic reaction could be fatal. This could happen if they suffer an anaphylactic shock which is a medical emergency which requires immediate treatment
How Pharmacy Negligence Could Be Prevented
While the duty of care for your safety is with your pharmacist, there are a number of steps you could take to try and prevent suffering because of a prescription error. These include:
- Check that any medication you receive is the same as what’s listed on your prescription
- Ask the pharmacist to confirm how the medication should be taken
- Make sure that every medicine packet in your prescription has your name on the label
- Highlight any other medication you’re on to the pharmacist and ask if they conflict with what you’ve been given
- If there are any doubts at all, even after checking with the pharmacist, ask your GP to verify that everything is as it should be
Pharmacy Negligence Claim Compensation Calculator
As we’ve now explained why you might make a Well Pharmacy wrong medication claim, the next step is to look at compensation amounts. Because every single claim is unique because a claimant will have suffered in different ways, and they may or may not have long-term symptoms, and they suffered varying amounts of financial loss as a result of the medication error.
Therefore, rather than concentrate on how much an individual claim may be worth, we’ve provided the personal injury claims calculator below. It shows compensation amounts that could be awarded for different levels of suffering which are awarded as general damages. For a more personalised estimate, please speak with an adviser.
|Type Of Claim||Range||Further Details|
|Adverse Drug Reaction||£36,060 to £49,270||These reactions will lead to diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and serious acute pain. The claimant is likely to spend some weeks in hospital. Life enjoyment and the ability to work will suffer a significant impact.|
|Adverse Drug Reaction||£8,950 to £18,020||These reactions which cause symptoms like vomiting, nausea and also diarrhoea. Symptoms will reduce over a 2 to 4 weeks period. Food enjoyment, impact on sex life and disturbance of bowel function are all factors that could be considered.|
|Adverse Drug Reaction||£3,710 to £8,950||When the claimant suffers these reactions they're likely to have to endure stomach cramps, fatigue and significant discomfort. They may need to stay in hospital for a few days but any minor symptoms should reduced after few weeks. Other symptoms may take a year or two to fully heal.|
|Adverse Drug Reaction||£860 to £3,710||Symptoms like a disabling pain, stomach cramps and diarrhoea for a period of a few weeks are covered in this bracket.|
|Loss of Earnings||Up to £500,000 +||Where symptoms affect the ability to work in the future, compensation can be based on age, salary, position and job prospects.|
You’ll notice that the different types of injury are compensated based upon their severity. This is important because, if your solicitor can’t provide enough medical evidence, you might not receive the correct amount of compensation. Therefore, our panel of solicitors use independent doctors to carry out a medical assessment.
The assessment is performed locally to you where possible. The doctor will have already reviewed your medical records and will ask you a number of questions during the assessment. Then they’ll write a report which shows your initial injuries, their impact and if you might suffer any further effects in the future. The report is then submitted, along with other evidence, to make sure you’re compensated fully for the harm you suffered.
Other Financial Costs You Could Be Compensated For
When making a prescription negligence claim, there are two main elements that a solicitor will use. These are general damages and special damages. The first of the two, general damages, are awarded to cover any pain, suffering or loss of amenity caused by the injuries. The compensation table from the previous section showed some examples of general damages.
Special damages, however, are used to cover financial costs incurred because of the injuries or illness. Some examples include:
- Medical Expenses
In most cases, you’ll receive treatment from the NHS to help you recover from being given the wrong prescription. However, you may still have to cover the cost of further prescriptions and over the counter medicines too. Therefore, you could claim these costs back
- Care Costs
Should you need somebody to look after you while you’re recovering, you could claim back any associated costs. This could be for the time of a friend or family member. It could also include the cost of any professional carer
- Travelling Expenses
If you need to visit a GP or hospital during your recovery, there’s a chance you’ll pay for fuel, parking or public transport. If that happens, you could claim any costs back
- Lost Income
When you’re made ill and need time off work to recover or visit a GP, if you lose any income as a result, it could be claimed back. Furthermore, if you suffer a serious reaction which affects your ability to work in the long-term, then you could claim for future lost income as well. How much you could claim is based on what you currently earn, your age, job prospects and how much your illness will prevent you from working, for example you might be able to return to work but not in the same capacity
No Win No Fee Claims For Well Pharmacy Negligence
If you’re thinking of making a claim for wrong medication negligence you might be put off because you’re worried about the cost of hiring a personal injury solicitor. The solicitors on our panel offer a No Win No Fee service. That means, for any claim they take on, the stress and financial risks involved with claiming are reduced.
Initially, the solicitor will look at your claim to check it’s valid. If they agree that it is, and take on your claim, they’ll provide a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) for you to review and sign. This legal contract provides you with some security because it states that you won’t have to pay solicitor’s fees if the claim is unsuccessful.
It also introduces the idea of a ‘success fee’. This is a percentage of your compensation that’s retained by the solicitor if they win your case. The success fee is deducted automatically from your compensation so that you don’t need to send funds to cover it.
Why Choose Our Team For Your Claim Against A Pharmacy?
If you’re now thinking that you’d like to claim for suffering caused by a dispensing error by Well Pharmacy, we really would like you to use Legal Helpline to do so. Here are some reasons why you should consider us:
- Our team provide completely free legal advice about claiming
- We offer a no obligation assessment of any claim
- Our panel of solicitors always work hard to try and make sure you’re compensated fully
- The claims line is open 24-7
- Some of the solicitors on our panel have worked on medical negligence claims for nearly 30 years
- If the claim is taken on, you will be updated regularly so you know what’s happening with your case
Start Your Claim For Pharmacy Negligence
Thanks for visiting our site and reading this guide about claiming for Well Pharmacy negligence. If you’ve found the information useful, we hope that you’re considering using Legal Helpline to begin your claim. If so, here’s how we can be contacted:
- Call our team of advisers on 0161 696 9685 for free claims advice and to begin a claim
- Chat with our online advisers via our live chat feature which is available on every page of the site
- Or, we could give you a call at a convenient time. To arrange this, please complete our enquiry form
The claims process will begin with a free, no obligation assessment of your personal injury claim. Our adviser will discuss what happened and the suffering sustained. Then they’ll review any evidence you have to support the claim. If they suspect your claim might be won, they could introduce you to a personal injury lawyer on our panel. Once they’ve spoken with you, if they take the claim on, it will be on a No Win No Fee basis.
You’ve come to the end of our guide about making a Well Pharmacy wrong medication claim. Therefore, we’ve decided to provide some links to a few more of our guides. Also, we’ve included some links to external resources too.
Standards For Pharmacy Professionals – Guidance from the General Pharmaceutical Council on standards that pharmacists should adhere to.
Reducing Medication-Related Harm – This report from the Department of Health & Social Care looks at methods of reducing harm called by prescription errors.
The General Medical Council – The GMC help protect patient safety by improving medical practice in the UK.
Care Home Medication Errors – Information on how you could claim on behalf of a loved one who’s been given the wrong medication in a care home.
Suing A Pharmacy – This is another guide looking at when you could cause for suffering caused by an error by a pharmacist.
Dosage Errors – In this guide, we look at personal injury claims for medical negligence because a doctor prescribes the incorrect dosage.
Article by BH