Medication Errors In A Pharmacy – Could I Claim Compensation?

This guide explores how to claim compensation for medication errors. Pharmacy dispensing errors may cause you to suffer adverse reactions or serious side effects. You may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim if you’ve been the victim of a prescription error that was caused by a breach of duty of care.

Medication errors pharmacy

Medication errors in a pharmacy guide

We’ll explain how medication errors in a pharmacy occur and what evidence you need to provide to make a claim. It’s also important to have an understanding of what your claim is worth. You can see examples of compensation brackets that may relate to your case in this guide. 

Our advisors can provide a free consultation where you can ask any questions and look into starting the claims process. You can contact us at any time that works for you as our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To speak to a medical negligence professional, use the following details:

Select A Section

  1. What Are Medication Errors In A Pharmacy?
  2. Examples Of Medication Errors In Pharmacies
  3. Did The Pharmacy Breach Its Duty Of Care?
  4. How Do You Claim For Pharmacy Medication Errors?
  5. What Could You Claim For Medication Errors In A Pharmacy?
  6. No Win No Fee Pharmacy Medication Error Claims

What Are Medication Errors In A Pharmacy?

Medical negligence is when a medical professional, such as a nurse, pharmacist, doctor or GP, doesn’t provide care that meets the standard that is expected. The rules set out for pharmacists can be seen in the Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Registered Pharmacies) Order 2018.

This guide focuses on medication errors that are the fault of pharmacies, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Dispensing errors are where there’s a deviation between what is on your prescription and what you receive that occurs in the process of dispensing medication. 

In order for claims for pharmacist medication errors to be made, it’s important to prove medical negligence was the cause of the harm that was caused. We will provide more information on this further in this guide.

You could be interested in claiming against your pharmacy following a dispensing error that resulted in a decline in your health. Our advisors can explain what your options are and help you take the steps towards seeking a settlement.

Examples Of Medication Errors In Pharmacies

Pharmacists should dispense the medication to you as prescribed by your doctor. If medical negligence led to you receiving the wrong medication and suffering as a result, you might want to know more about claiming for medication errors in a pharmacy

Negligence can occur when pharmacy staff:

  • Give you someone else’s medication
  • Supply you with medication that looks similar to what you’re prescribed but is the wrong drug
  • Tell you to take the wrong dosage of the drug 
  • Fail to tell you about special instructions that are important when taking the medication. For example, if you need to take the drug with food, then this should be communicated with you

These errors can happen for a number of different reasons. For example, your medicine may have been incorrectly labelled. Alternatively, your pharmacist may have experienced a lack of judgement, meaning that they picked up medication meant for someone else with a similar name.

Taking the wrong medication can be life-threatening. For example, you may suffer an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the medication you were given. This could result in brain damage and organ failure, leading to permanent damage. 

Alternatively, the medication itself might not harm you but it’s ineffective in treating the condition you have. As a result, your condition gets worse despite the fact that you think you’re taking medication to treat it.

Medical professionals are responsible for ensuring patient safety. A failure to uphold this duty of care can cause injury. If you become aware of a medication error, you should seek medical attention immediately. 

Did The Pharmacy Breach Its Duty Of Care?

All medical professionals, including pharmacists, owe their patients a duty of care. This means they must provide you with a minimum standard of care and keep you safe from unnecessary harm. If the medical professional is negligent and this duty of care is breached then the patient’s health could be affected. 

You must prove that your pharmacist breached their duty of care towards you by making medication errors in a pharmacy claim. Alongside this, the claims process must be started within three years of the date the medication was dispensed to you or from the date you learned of the medication error. The Limitation Act 1980 outlines these rules, though there are some exceptions. 

For example, if the injured party is under the age of 18, the time limit only starts on the date of their 18th birthday. However, a settlement can still be sought before this period if a litigation friend makes the claim on the injured child’s behalf. This can be a parent or guardian of the victim.

Our advisors can discuss these terms with you to determine if you are within the time limit and able to make a claim. They can also confirm how the process of making claims for medication errors in a pharmacy works. 

How Do You Claim For Pharmacy Medication Errors?

If you suspect that you’ve received the wrong medication, consult with your GP practice. They can write you a new prescription, if necessary, and arrange treatment that you need for any negative impact on your well-being. In serious cases, you might need to visit your local A&E. 

In anticipation of making a claim, you should also start to gather as much evidence as you can. For example: 

  • Retain any packaging of the medication
  • Keep a sample of the medication if you have any left
  • Ask for copies of your medical records from your GP, including records of your prescriptions
  • Make notes of details that may support your claim (eg, names of pharmacists that served you, reports on your physical and mental condition, and information on any further treatment that was caused by the medication error)

Proving medication errors in a pharmacy can be made easier by working with a medical negligence solicitor. Read on to learn about contacting a No Win No Fee solicitor. You can also call us for free legal advice.

What Could You Claim For Medication Errors In A Pharmacy?

When making a claim for pharmacist medication errors, you can receive general and special damages. General damages relate to any physical or psychological effects you experience due to the medication error. Special damages are for the financial losses caused by the dispensing error that harmed you. Evidence is required to claim these damages, for instance, bank statements, receipts and prescriptions. 

To help you calculate what your claim could be worth, we’ve included some figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) below. This is used by legal professionals as a guideline to help them value general damages in medical negligence claims.

Very Severe Brain Damage (a)£282,010 - £403,990The injured person will show little evidence of responding to their environment and will require full-time care.
Moderately Severe Brain Damage (b)£219,070 - £282,010There are risks of severe medical issues developing, such as blindness with life expectancy highly reduced.
Moderate Brain Injury (c) (i)£150,110 - £219,070Sensory impairment is likely to be present with moderate to severe intellectual deficit.
Moderate Brain Injury (c) (ii)£90,720 - £150,110The injured person is unlikely to be able to return to work and will be at risk of developing epilepsy.
Moderate Brain Injury (c) (iii)£43,060 - £90,720Vestibular symptoms may persist with effects on the senses.
Bowels Up to £150,110
Total loss of natural function. Colostomy will be necessary.
BowelsIn the region of £79,920
Passive incontinence, causing distress and embarrassment.
Bladder Up to £140,660Complete loss of function and control
Kidney Up to £63,980Significant risk of future infection of the urinary tract.
Digestive system £9,540 to £19,200
Severe diarrhoea and vomiting that diminishes over a period of two to four weeks. However, some discomfort remains.

Contact our team today for a direct valuation of your clinical negligence claim. If your case is valid, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. 

No Win No Fee Pharmacy Medication Error Claims

In No Win No Fee agreements, you don’t pay your solicitor any legal fees unless your claim is successful. In this case, a legally-capped success fee is taken from your settlement total to pay your solicitor for their work. There are no solicitor fees to pay if you are unsuccessful in gaining compensation.

If we can see a chance of success from your claim, our advisors can connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor. To learn more about these Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) or to get started on your medical negligence claim, reach out to our team today.

Further Resources On Medication Errors In A Pharmacy

We’ve included some resources here to help you with your case:

You can also see more of our guides by following the links below:

Thank you for reading our medication errors in a pharmacy guide.

Writer Jess Anish

Publisher Fern Stiles