By Cat Wayne. Last Updated 25th October 2023. In this guide, we will explore the question, “Can you sue a pharmacy for the wrong prescription?”. Taking the wrong medication, or the wrong dosage of medication, can have significant negative effects on your physical and mental health.
Through our guide, we will explore the criteria that your case must meet in order to form the basis of a valid pharmacy error claim. We’ll also discuss how a pharmacy error could occur and what to do if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication in the UK if you want to start a medical negligence claim.
We will also discuss compensation in medical negligence claims, and the types of compensation that you could receive if your case were to succeed. Finally, our guide will explore the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor on your claim.
Our advisors are here to help if you’d like to learn more about making a medication error claim. For a free evaluation of your case, contact us today by:
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- Can You Sue A Pharmacy For Giving You The Wrong Prescription?
- How The Dispensing Of The Wrong Prescription Could Happen
- How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Prescription Error?
- Compensation Payouts In Prescription Error Claims
- How Medical Negligence Assist Could Help You Make A No Win No Fee Claim
- Helpful Links On Prescription Error Claims
If you’re wondering whether you can sue a pharmacy for giving you the wrong prescription, there are certain eligibility criteria your claim must meet to be valid.
With medical negligence claims, you would need to prove that a medical professional breached a duty of care towards you and that the breach caused you to suffer unnecessary harm.
A pharmacist has an established duty of care towards their clients. They must ensure they meet a minimum standard of care. Should they not follow established procedures for issuing medication, this could indicate a drop below the minimum standard of care. If you suffer unnecessary harm because of this, you may be able to claim compensation.
To check your eligibility to make a medical negligence claim, you can contact our advisors. They could answer your questions about prescription error claims, and help you understand what action you could take.
There are many ways in which a pharmacy error could happen. However, as we’ve already discussed, not every instance will result in a valid medical negligence claim; you must be able to prove that the error was a result of a medical professional breaching their duty of care, and that this, in turn, has caused you avoidable harm. Some examples of how a medication error could occur include:
- Wrong dosage: If you are given the wrong dosage of medication, this can cause significant complications. For example, if you are suddenly prescribed a much higher dose than you are used to, this could cause an overdose.
- Wrong medication: If the wrong medication is dispensed to you by a pharmacist, this could have severe adverse effects. For example, you may be allergic to this medication.
- Interacting medications: You may be prescribed a medication that interacts negatively with a medication you are already on, because a doctor failed to check your medical history.
These are only a few examples of how a prescription error could occur. If you would like to learn more about what to do if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication in the UK and you’d like to make a claim, contact our team of advisors today.
Under the Limitation Act 1980, you will have three years to start a medical negligence claim. This begins on the date of the medical negligence or on the date that you connected the harm you suffered with a medical professional breaching their duty of care. However, there are some exceptions to this limit.
For example, if the claimant is under the age of 18, then the time limit is frozen. A court-appointed litigation friend can make a claim on their behalf during this time, or they can claim for themselves when the time limit is reinstated on the date of their 18th birthday.
Similarly, the time limit is frozen for those who lack the capacity to make a claim for themselves. A litigation friend can start a claim on their behalf at any time while the time limit is frozen. Otherwise, the time limit will only be reinstated if the claimant regains the required mental capacity.
To find out if you are within the time limit to make a pharmacy error claim, contact our team of advisors today. A member of our team can evaluate your claim for free, and answer any questions you may have, including what to do if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication in the UK and you want to make a claim.
Compensation for successful prescription error claims could consist of general and special damages.
General damages is the head of claim that would compensate you for the harm you have suffered due to medical negligence. When valuing such claims, legal professionals could refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for assistance. This is a publication that lists guideline payout amounts for different forms of harm at varying severities.
The table below contains figures from the 16th edition of the JCG. However, these figures should only be used as a guide.
|£38,430 to £52,500
|With serious amounts of pain. Fever, diarrhoea and vomiting could also occur. Hospital admission for some weeks or days might be necessary, and patients could also develop IBS, and other long-term function issues. This could affect their ability to work.
|Poisoning (short lived)
|£9,540 to £19,200
|With vomiting and diarrhoea that could lessen in a period of somewhere between 2 and 4 weeks. Food enjoyment, bowel function, and sex life may suffer for some time.
|Poisoning (less severe)
|£3,950 to £9,540
|Fatigue, cramps and serious discomfort with the bowels could be experienced by claimants whose cases fall into this bracket. Hospitalisation might be required for a few days, with symptoms lasting for weeks. Would expect recovery to occur within 1-2 years.
|£910 to £3,950
|Days or weeks of cramps, diarrhoea and pain. Could be disabling.
|Up to £63,980
|Claimants with severe damage leading to total loss of natural function could fall into this bracket. There may be a high level of risk that claimants could also develop future infections. Medical expenses for cases in these brackets could be very high.
|£44,590 to £69,730
|Injury to the abdomen that leads to function impairment, leading to the claimants ability to work/ food intake to be affected long term.
In addition to general damages, it may be possible for you to receive special damages as part of your claim. This head of claim compensates for the financial expenses you suffered due to being harmed when the pharmacy filled the wrong prescription.
Some examples of expenses that could be covered by special damages could include:
- Loss of income.
- Care costs.
- Medical expenses.
- Travel costs.
You will need evidence to support your claim for special damages. Bank statements, payslips and receipts could be useful in this regard.
To learn more about the compensation that could be appropriate in your case, you can contact our advisors. They can give you personalised advice.
Now that you’ve learned more about what to do if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication in the UK and you’d like to make a claim, you might be interested in working with a solicitor.
Our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that, with the help of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), you don’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to your solicitor in order for them to work on your pharmacy error claim. Similarly, if your claim fails, you won’t be expected to pay your solicitor a fee for their work.
If your claim is successful, then your solicitor will take a success fee. This is deducted straight from your compensation as a small percentage, which is limited by a legislative cap. The legal cap helps to make sure that you keep the larger share of what you receive.
To find out if you are eligible to work with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors, contact our team of advisors today. They can offer a free consultation, during which they can answer your questions and potentially connect you with one of our medical negligence solicitors. Get started by:
Below, you can find some more links on prescription error and medical negligence claims:
- Making A Claim Against Your GP – If the wrong prescription was given to you by your GP, this guide could offer some assistance on claiming compensation.
- Did You Receive The Wrong Prescription Because You Were Misdiagnosed? – If so, this guidance could be useful.
- How Much Compensation Could I Claim – Working out how much compensation you could claim? Why not take a look at our guide.
- University Of Manchester Research On Medication Errors – Here, you can read more on research conducted by the University of Manchester on medication errors.
- Check Whether Your Pharmacy Is Registered – Here, you can check whether your pharmacist is registered.
If you need any more advice on whether or not you can sue a pharmacy for giving you the wrong prescription, get in touch.