Pharmacists are medical professionals who owe their patients a duty of care to provide the correct medication in accordance with the doctors’ instructions on a prescription. They must ensure that the dosage, strength, and quantity of medication are correct as well as the actual medication itself. They also have a responsibility to ensure the patient knows how to take or administer their medication correctly, and a responsibility to act if a patient’s medication could adversely react in any way by informing them of the possible consequences, or even by consulting with the prescribing doctor if necessary. So, what happens if a pharmacist makes a mistake? If a pharmacist makes a negligent mistake which could have been avoided and results in the patient’s medical complaint worsening or causes additional health problems to occur, or worse, causes a fatal reaction, a medical negligence claim could be pursued.
If you have suffered due to a Cohen Chemists prescription error, call us on 0800 652 3087 for free legal advice.
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- A Guide On How To Make A Prescription Error Claim Against Cohens Chemist
- What Is Wrong Medication Negligence By A Chemist?
- Top Types Of Errors Made By Pharmacies
- What Are The Possible Effects Of A Prescription Error?
- Time Limits In Which To Claim For Prescription Errors By A Chemist
- What Could You Claim? – Prescription Error Calculator
- No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Negligence Claims
- How Could Medical Negligence Assist Help You?
- Start Your Claim
- Reference Information
If you have been the victim of wrong medication negligence and have suffered ill health because the pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication, you may qualify to make a compensation claim for the pain and suffering you have endured.
Wrong prescription negligence can cause various health problems such as causing an existing illness to worsen, or causing completely new health issues as a direct result. If you are contemplating making a claim for your suffering, we would advise you to do so as soon as possible as the financial assistance a successful compensation claim can bring can be a huge relief particularly for those who have had to take time away from work and therefore lost some of their income. However, we understand that starting a medical negligence claim can be a daunting task for many and so we, at Medical Negligence Assist, have written this guide full of helpful information to give you some knowledge of what is involved in making a medical negligence claim.
The guide includes information such as what is meant by wrong medication by a chemist, the type of errors that could potentially be made in a pharmacy, and the possible side effects of such errors. We look at the type of damages you can claim for, the medical negligence claims time limit in which you need to start a claim, how much compensation you could be entitled to and how a no win no fee medical negligence lawyer could help you to get the compensation you deserve. Of course, after reading through the guide, if you have any more questions, please contact Medical Negligence Assist and we will be happy to help in any way that we can.
In Great Britain, the General Pharmaceutical Council sets the standards that pharmacies and pharmacists are required to meet to ensure that they deliver a high level of care in their pharmaceutical responsibilities and therefore are delivering a safe service for the people that need to use it. If they make a mistake that could’ve been avoided, they could be accused of acting negligently. Some of the mistakes that could potentially occur include:
- Incorrectly reading the prescription resulting in them dispensing the wrong type or dose of medication.
- Failing to keep adequate customer records regarding the medicine they are given.
- Giving the patient incorrect information about how their medicine should be taken or administered, such as how many, what time, before, with or after food and so on.
- Neglecting to carry out the required clinical checks to ensure the medicine is dispensed accurately.
- Failing to ensure the products supplied are genuine and not counterfeit by only using approved suppliers.
- Failing to advise and warn patients about any potentially serious side effects of their medication.
- Not adhering to medication storage requirements, for example, failing to store insulin in the fridge as directed, and also failing to inform patients how to store their medication once home.
If a pharmacist fails in their duty of care and makes a prescription error, the consequences could potentially be devastating. Although some errors may result in mild health concerns, some errors may result in serious health issues due to adverse reactions, or some may cause an allergic reaction which could lead to the life-threatening condition anaphylaxis.
Eligibility for making a claim for Cohens Chemist wrong medication negligence will depend on a number of factors call us at Medical Negligence Assist to find out if you have a legitimate claim.
There are numerous ways in which an error could potentially be made by a pharmacist or in a pharmacy. Here we look at some of the different types of errors and if they can be claimed for:
- Claims For Delayed Prescriptions –
Whether medication is needed for a long term condition or an unexpected illness, if a patient’s prescription is delayed, it could result in their condition worsening causing them to experience unnecessary pain and suffering which could’ve been avoided. Furthermore, depending on the condition being treated and the medication prescribed, other health problems could also occur in addition to the original complaint. If a delay in medication occurs due to the error of a pharmacy and liability can be proven, and you are harmed as a result, you may have grounds to make a claim.
- Claims For Interactions Between Medications –
There are occasions where more than one type of medication is prescribed for a patient. Some medications can negatively react with one another. It could just be that one medicine reduces or stops the effects of another, for example, antibiotics can prevent contraception drugs from working effectively. But also, there are times when the reaction could be dangerously adverse causing the patient to suffer additional ill health or worse. Pharmacists supplying over the counter medication have a duty to alert patients of any potentially negative interactions. If they fail to alert the patient or intervene where necessary and the patient suffers as a result, they could be deemed negligent in their duty of care.
- Claims For An Allergic Reaction To Your Prescription –
If a patient has an allergic reaction to medication that has been dispensed by a pharmacist, whether it could lead to a claim would depend on the circumstances. If a patient suffers an allergic reaction to a newly prescribed medicine which has been dispensed correctly, the pharmacist would not be held responsible as they would not have had any prior knowledge of potential allergies. If the pharmacist dispensed the wrong medication entirely they could potentially be held responsible if the patient was allergic to it and suffered an allergic reaction. By speaking to an experienced legal expert you should be able to find out if you have a legitimate claim. Allergic reactions can sometimes result in mild symptoms such as a rash or hives for example, but they can also be serious and sometimes lead to anaphylaxis which can be fatal.
- Claims For Being Given The Wrong Dose –
Being given the wrong dose refer to being incorrectly instructed when to take a certain medicine or being given the wrong strength of medication. The dosage may be incorrectly written on the label or the pharmacist may have verbally given the patient the wrong instructions on how and when to take their medication. If the wrong dosage results in an insufficient quantity of medication being taken the medicine will be less effective causing the condition to possibly worsen, potentially leading to more severe problems such as kidney failure or heart failure for example, especially if the error isn’t noticed and therefore isn’t rectified in good time. On the flip side, if a patient takes too much of a medication, it could potentially lead to an accidental overdose leading to further problems such as liver failure. Whether a patient suffers mild, or more serious health issues due to the wrong dose of medication being dispensed, they could be able to make a claim as the error was preventable had the pharmacist not behaved negligently.
- Claims For Being Given Another Patient’s Prescription –
If a patient is given medication meant for somebody else, many health problems could arise if the error isn’t realised and the patient takes the medication. For example, if a patient who is not diabetic is given somebody else’s oral diabetic medication in error, they could suffer a hypoglycaemic shock due to dangerously low blood sugar levels which can result in a coma if not treated urgently. This is just one of many problems that could occur by a patient being given somebody else’s medication in error. If you are harmed after being given somebody else’s medication, you could have a valid reason to claim.
- Claims For Being Given Medication You Were Not Prescribed –
Similarly to being given somebody else’s medication, if you are given medication that is different to what has been prescribed on your prescription, therefore effectively being given the wrong medication entirely, you could suffer various consequences ranging from mild symptoms to more serious symptoms leading to adverse health issues. It is the pharmacists’ duty to oversee all dispensing in a pharmacy including prescriptions dispensed by junior staff and therefore they should be checking prescriptions are correct before giving to the patient.
If you are the victim of a prescription error, there are a number of possible effects that you could experience. Apart from your existing health condition likely to worsen, you could also suffer from additional new health complaints that may range from minor effects such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea for example which are short-lived with no lasting effects, to more serious effects that are more debilitating such as severe pain and discomfort. Adverse drug interactions could occur and also possibly allergic reactions which may result in rashes or hives or lead to an anaphylactic shock.
Eligibility for making a claim for Cohens Chemist wrong medication negligence will depend on a number of factors, but if your health has suffered as a result of this negligence, regardless of whether you suffered minor or serious side effects, you may be eligible to pursue a claim. If you are in anyway unsure as to whether you have a valid claim or not, speak to Medical Negligence Assist and they can assess the details surrounding your case and make an informed decision as to where you stand legally.
Personal injury claims including medical negligence claims all have a claims time limit. In the majority of cases, this will be 3 years from the date of injury or the first date in which the injury was noticed or diagnosed. Most injuries are apparent straight away, but sometimes it can be weeks, months or even years before an injury becomes known, in these cases the 3-year limit will begin from the first ‘date of knowledge’. If a claim is being made for an injury in childhood, providing a parent or guardian hasn’t already made a claim, a claim can be made once the child turns 18 and they will have 3 years from their 18th birthday to initiate the claim.
Occasionally in exceptional circumstances, the time limit may vary and so to be on the safe side and to give as much time as possible to build a strong case, it is best to start your claim as soon as you possibly can.
There are different aspects that will all have an impact on the final claim settlement amount, these include:
- These represent the injury or illness and any psychological effects too. The amount of compensation will depend on how severe the injury or illness is, the effect it has had on the claimant, the length of time they have suffered and if there will be any long term damage.
- Medical Expenses – Any expenses incurred relating to any medical treatment or medicines directly as a result of the injury can be included in the claim.
- Travel Expenses – Same as the medical expenses, if the claimant incurs any travel expenses because of the injury, these can be included also.
- Care Claim – A claim can be made for any additional care that may have been needed whilst the claimant has been suffering, during their recovery period or any long term care.
- Loss Of Income – If the claimant has needed to take time off of work because of their injury or illness, they can reclaim this back in their claim as well as any predicted future loss of income.
Due to the number of elements that will make up the final award of compensation, the amount of compensation you could possibly receive cannot be accurately predicted as every case is unique. So instead we have put together a small table which shows the general amounts awarded for particular injuries or illnesses as written in the latest Judicial College Guidelines, but the amount you are awarded will solely depend on your individual circumstances.
|Injury / Illness / Costs
|Poisoning - Varying degrees of disabling pain
|£860 - £3,710
|Stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhoea continuing for some days or weeks.
|Poisoning - significant discomfort
|£3,710 - £8,950
|Hospitalisation needed, similar symptoms as those above but to a greater degree, , alteration of bowel function complete recovery within a year or two.
|Poisoning - Serious but short-lived poisoning
|£8,950 - £18,020
|Hospitalisation needed, severe symptoms, lasting between 2-4 weeks with prolonged problems. Discomfort and disturbance of bowel function and impact on sex life and enjoyment of food over a few years.
|£36,060 - £49,270
|Extreme pain and discomfort due to severe toxicosis, hospital admission needed, long term treatment required and on-going health problems continuing.
These amounts only account for the general damages, special damages, relating to the financial aspect of the claim, would need to be added to these amounts to get the final awarded amount.
Using the services of a legal team to make a medical negligence claim on your behalf can be costly if you were to use a pay by the hour solicitor. However, if you use a law firm that offered a no win no fee policy, it can be more affordable.
No win no fee, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, allows you to get legal help without paying any upfront costs, or fees whilst the claim is going through. If the claim is a success and compensation is secured, the no win no fee solicitor will take a small percentage of your compensation, at a maximum of 25%, as their fee. If they are not successful in securing you compensation, they will not charge you any fees for their time.
Having a medical negligence solicitor to make the claim on your behalf will give you the best possible chance of having a successful claim, and using a solicitor that offers no win no fee takes away the stress and worry of expensive legal fees.
Medical Negligence Assist has successfully dealt with a variety of different medical negligence claims thanks to the panel of expert medical negligence solicitors that we work alongside.
All of the solicitors that we work with offer a no win no fee policy, a free consultation, a local medical and free legal advice. They are honest, reliable and work in a quick and timely manner, always aiming to get the highest amount of compensation that they can for their clients. If you use the services of our panel of expert medical negligence solicitors to start your claim for you, you can be assured that they will build a strong case and do their very best to get you the compensation you deserve.
In order to get your claim started as soon as possible, call us at Medical Negligence Assist on 0800 652 3087 and our panel of expert medical negligence solicitors will set to work on building you a strong claim to successfully secure the maximum amount of compensation they possibly can for you.
Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator – This guide explains what factors are taken into account when calculating how much compensation might be claimed for medical negligence.
How Long Will My Claim Take? – Here we look at how long medical negligence cases can take to conclude.
Claims Against A GP – If you have been given the wrong prescription because of an error by a GP this page explains how to make a claim against the GP.
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee – Here you will find information all about the prescription dispensing procedure.
Raising Concerns With The General Pharmaceutical Council – You can look here to find out how to raise any concerns you may have regarding any pharmacies or pharmacists negligent or suspected negligent behaviour.
NHS Resolution – The NHS gives some guidance here on clinical negligence.
Written by Kelly
Edited by Lis.