If you or a loved one have been given the wrong medication by a pharmacist, then you could be entitled to claim compensation for any suffering caused as a result of the mistake. As medical professionals, pharmacists have a duty of care towards patient safety. Any breach of that duty could mean they’re liable for any suffering. In this guide, we’re going to look at claiming for Boots Pharmacy negligence. We’ll investigate the types of mistakes that could happen, the symptoms they could cause and when
At Medical Negligence Assist, we believe you should be able to claim for pharmacy mistakes without worrying about the costs involved. Therefore, we offer free claims advice to any potential claimant. We do this in the hope that you’ll let us help you make a claim, but any assessment of your claim by our advisors is offered on a no-obligation basis. That means you’ve got nothing to lose by calling us on 0800 652 3087 to discuss your claim.
If you’d rather find out more about claiming for a Boots Pharmacy dispensing error before calling, then please carry on reading this useful guide.
Choose A Topic
- A Guide On Making A Boots Pharmacy Wrong Medication Negligence Claim
- What Is A Pharmacy Prescription Error?
- Top Types Of Prescription Errors
- Possible Symptoms And Side Effects Of Prescription Errors
- Time limits To Make A Pharmacy Wrong Medication Negligence Claim
- What Can I Claim? – Wrong Medication Negligence Calculator
- No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Negligence Claims
- How Could Medical Negligence Assist Help You?
- Start Your Claim
- Further Information
A Guide On Making A Boots Pharmacy Wrong Medication Negligence Claim
All medical professionals are regulated and have a duty of care toward their patient’s safety. This means, if a mistake happens the pharmacist could be held liable for any suffering caused. In some cases, minor errors might not actually cause any immediate harm to the patient but, in more serious cases, the patient could suffer side effects or an allergic reaction that could prove fatal.
When you ask a medical negligence lawyer to take on your claim, they’ll want you to show that:
- The service provided by the pharmacist was below the standard that could be reasonably expected by a competent pharmacist conducting the same work. The legal name for this is breach of duty.
- Then you’ll need to show that your underlying illness was made worse or you suffered a new injury or illness.
- The final part of proving the case is known as causation. This means that you can show that the suffering you sustained was a result of the breach of duty.
If you’re able to prove that the above is true, then you could be entitled to claim compensation. However, you’ll need evidence to do so. Therefore, if your considering making a claim, you could collect the following evidence:
- A copy of your medical records. This will help prove what was originally prescribed by the doctor. It’ll also explain what suffering was caused by the prescription error.
- Packaging that the medicine came in. This could be a bottle, box or blister pack.
- A sample of the medicine. In some cases, this might be required for testing purposes.
- Witness statements from anybody who overheard any incorrect advice given to you by the pharmacist.
Proving that a Boots pharmacist made a dispensing error can be tricky and require complex evidence. Therefore, we’d always advise having an expert to help with your claim such as the specialist solicitors on our panel.
What Is A Pharmacy Prescription Error?
Over the coming sections of this guide, we’re going to look at what types of prescription errors could occur. This guide is specifically about Boots Pharmacy errors, but the information could be applied to other pharmacists as well.
Top Types Of Prescription Errors
Here are some of the prescription errors that could occur. Don’t worry if you don’t see an example which matches your case. You could still be eligible to claim compensation so please call an advisor with your specific details. Here are some types of prescription errors that could cause you to suffer.
Delays In Getting Your Prescription
In some cases, when you start taking your medication is vital. This might be the case if you’re discharged from a hospital following a heart attack or stroke. If a doctor prescribes certain medicines, but the pharmacy only partially fulfils the order, any delay in getting the medication could cause very serious implications for your recovery.
Dangerous Drug Interactions
Some medications can’t be taken if the patient is taking other types of medication. If a pharmacist dispenses medication or provides over the counter medicines that react with other medication they may ask you about the medication you are taking to ensure that no avoidable drug reaction takes place. If a pharmacist was to give you someone else’s medication this could cause a serious drug interaction if you are taking medication which it interacts with.
Allergic Reactions To Medications
If you suffer from a known allergy, your doctor will have this information on file. Therefore, when they prescribe treatment for you, they’ll ensure the product doesn’t contain the allergen that affects you. However, if the pharmacist makes a mistake and dispenses the wrong drug, the checks performed by the doctor could be pointless. We’ll cover the symptoms of an allergic reaction later in this guide. However, in worse case scenarios, they can cause anaphylaxis which can prove to be fatal.
As well as ensuring the accuracy of any prescription, allergens should be pointed out when selling over the counter treatments too.
Incorrect Dosages Of A Medication
Another scenario that could lead to a claim is where you’re given the wrong dosage of a medicine. This might mean it’s too strong, too weak or you’re not taking it often enough.
Where the dosage is too weak, it’s possible that your underlying condition could become worse. Therefore, the pharmacist could be liable for not fulfilling the prescription according to the doctor’s instructions.
If a dosage is too strong, it’s possible that you’ll receive unwanted side-effects. When medicine manufacturers provide dosage instructions, they’ll consider your age, size, sex and other factors to determine what amount should be taken. The doctor will use this advice when prescribing. Therefore, if you are given a dose that’s too strong, and suffer as a result, then it could be possible for you to make a claim.
Being Given The Wrong Person’s Medication
You might think that it shouldn’t be possible to be given somebody else’s medication. You could end up being given somebody else’s prescription because:
- You have a similar name to them.
- You have the same postcode.
- The pharmacy is overly busy, and the technician failed to check the details were correct.
Whatever the reason for the mistake, you could be entitled to compensation for any suffering that the mistake causes. As well as potential side effects, it’s possible that your condition might get worse because you didn’t take the medication the doctor wanted you to. Therefore, either form of mistake could entitle you to compensation.
Being Given The Wrong Medication
One of the roles of a pharmacist is to ensure that safe systems of work and procedures are used within the pharmacy. This should help prevent errors from being made. However, there are cases where you might receive a prescription which has your name on all of the labels, has the right packaging for the medication you were prescribed but where the contents of the packaging were incorrect.
As with other forms of negligence, you could suffer in two ways. Firstly, there might be adverse or allergic reactions to the medication you were given. Secondly, the underlying problem that the doctor was attempting to treat could get worse.
To prevent mistakes from happening, pharmacists should ensure technicians are using the right procedures when dispensing medicines. Also, a final check should be made before any packaging is sealed.
Possible Symptoms And Side Effects Of Prescription Errors
When claiming for Boots Pharmacy negligence, you need to be able to prove that you suffered in some way. Therefore, we’re now going to look at what sort of suffering could be caused by a prescription error.
- In the first scenario your underlying condition might get worse. That’s because the wrong medication you’re given is not used to treat your particular ailment. So, even if the prescription error didn’t cause any adverse reaction, you might still be entitled to claim compensation for the additional suffering caused.
- You might suffer an adverse reaction to some medications. The symptoms that could be caused include dizziness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Then, on top of those, it’s possible for organs such as the bladder, lungs or kidneys to sustain damage from some drugs too. These are not necessarily life-threatening symptoms, but they could require you to be treated in hospital for some weeks. Also, full recovery may take as long as two years in some cases.
- Finally, it’s possible for some people to suffer allergic reactions to some medications. In many cases, the symptoms will be minor but could lead to a claim. The symptoms could include swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, itchiness, a red rash (hives), nausea or becoming lightheaded. However, in more serious scenarios, it’s possible that an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylactic shock. This is such a serious reaction that immediate medical treatment is required. In cases where the treatment doesn’t happen quickly enough, the shock can prove fatal.
Please get in touch with an advisor to discuss your options. We could also help in the unfortunate event that a loved one has died because of an allergic reaction caused by a medication error. The process is slightly different so please call to discuss what happened.
Time limits To Make A Wrong Medication Negligence Claim
When you make a claim for pharmacy mistakes, you need to do so within the personal injury claims time limit. Ordinarily, this would be a 3-year period from the date of an injury. However, when you’re given the wrong medication, the mistake might not come to light for some time. Therefore, the time period could begin from the date you found out about the avoidable harm.
What Can I Claim? – Wrong Medication Negligence Calculator
OK, so now that we’ve looked at what could happen if a pharmacy made a mistake, let’s look at what compensation could be claimed. The thing to remember here is that every claim is unique, so it’s impossible to work out how much your claim might be worth until you’ve spoken with an advisor.
When a medical negligence solicitor submits a claim, they’ll usually claim for general and special damages. General damages cover any pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by your injuries. The amount paid depends on the severity and impact of your injuries.
The figures you can see in the table come from the Judicial College Guidelines.
|Claim Type||Compensation||Further details|
|Non-traumatic Injury||Up to 49,270||Injury symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, acute pain and fever. Some days or possibly weeks in hospital will be required and there will be further ongoing symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) incontinence and haemorrhoids.|
|Non-traumatic Injury||Up to £18,020||Sort lived but serious symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea. These will reduce and clear up over a period of around 2 to 4 weeks. That said enjoyment of food, bowel function and sex life could all be impacted on for a few of years.|
|Non-traumatic Injury||Up to £8,950||Injury symptoms such as fatigue, stomach cramps and alteration of the bowel function. They will cause significant discomfort which require patient to stay in hospital for a few days. These symptoms might last for around few weeks . However, complete recovery could take as long as 1 to 2 years.|
|Non-traumatic Injury||Up to £3,710||These injuries will result in symptoms with varying degrees of disabling pain. They could include diarrhoea and stomach cramps which last no more than a few weeks.|
|Bowels||Up to £65,440||This kind of damage will result in impairment of bowel function.|
|Bladder||Up to £75,010||Damage which causes pain with impairment of control as well as incontinence.|
|Kidney||Up to £60,050||This kidney damage could cause a significant risk of future urinary tract infection or the loss of kidney function.|
However, special damages are more tangible as they’re paid to cover financial losses caused by your suffering. There are a number of different elements to special damages including:
- Travelling Expenses – This can include fuel and parking costs incurred by hospital or GP appointments as a result of the prescription error.
- Care Costs – If you need to be cared for while recovering, you could ask for any costs to be included in your claim. For instance, this could include the time of a friend who cared for your or the fees of a professional carer.
- Medical Expenses – You might think that, as your treatment will usually be on the NHS, there’s not much to claim for in this category. However, you might incur prescription fees or have to pay for over the counter treatments. Therefore, these could be added to the claim amount.
- Lost Income – If your employer only pays statutory sick pay (SSP), you might lose income if you take time off for a medical appointment or to recover. Therefore, it could be possible to ask for the losses back. Also, for longer-term cases, you could ask to be compensated for any future lost earnings too.
No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Negligence Claims
One of the main reasons people worry about making a wrong medication negligence claim is the costs involved in hiring a medical negligence lawyer. To ease those concerns, our panel of solicitors offer a no win no fee claims service. This makes it easier for people to claim as their financial risks are reduced which, in turn, also reduces any stress.
The process begins when a solicitor reviews your claim. They need to check there’s a chance it can be won, otherwise they risk not being paid. If they agree your claim is strong enough, you’ll be given a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This is the legal name for a no win no fee agreement.
Within your CFA, you’ll be able to pick out some key information:
- A statement which confirms that solicitor’s fees are only paid if you receive compensation.
- The success fee that’s payable when your claim is won.
A success fee is a percentage of your compensation. It can be up to 25% and it’s deducted before the compensation is paid to you. Having the success fee listed in the CFA means it’s clear what you’ll pay right from the start.
How Could Medical Negligence Assist Help You?
We strongly believe that if you’ve been injured or made ill through any form of medical negligence, then you should be able to get the advice you need to decide whether you have a valid claim or not. To show how we could help you, here’s some information about the way we work:
- We operate an advice line that’s open 24-7.
- The advice we provide is free and there’s no obligation to make a claim.
- Our panel of solicitors specialise in personal injury claims.
- Should your claim be taken on, you’ll receive regular updates about it as it progresses.
- The solicitors on our panel always try to ensure that any payment that’s paid is a fair amount of compensation for your suffering.
- We, and our panel of solicitors, operate as efficiently as possible to try and reduce any delays.
Start Your Claim
Now that you’ve completed this article about making a Boots Pharmacy wrong medication negligence claim, we hope that you’ve decided to let Medical Negligence Assist support your claim. If so, here are our contact details:
- Contact our free advice line on 0800 652 3087
- Start your claim online by submitting our online enquiry form.
- Start an online conversation with an advisor via our live chat facility.
The claims line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week so you can start the claims process whenever it suits you. When you get in touch, we’ll ask you some questions about the prescription error you’re claiming for. We’ll look at what happened, how you suffered and the evidence you have to support the claim. If the claim seems viable, we could introduce you to a solicitor from our panel of specialists. Remember, any claim that they agree to take on will be on a no win no fee basis.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide we’ve linked to some further guides and resources. If there’s anything else you need information on, please speak with a member of our team.
GP Negligence Claims – Advice on when you could use a lawyer to begin a claim against a GP.
Misdiagnosis Claims – Information about claims for suffering caused by a misdiagnosed illness.
Hospital Negligence Claims – This guide looks at when you could be entitled to compensation for suffering caused by, amongst other things, prescription negligence in a hospital.
Pharmacy Inspection Reports – This website allows you to read the latest inspection reports for pharmacies in your area.
The Pharmacy Order 2010 – Government legislation which was introduced to establish the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Find A Pharmacy – This useful NHS tool can help you to locate pharmacies in shops, supermarkets, GP surgeries and hospitals in your area.
Written by Brett
Edited by LisM.