Wrong Medication Negligence Claims

A wrong medication negligence claim could be possible if a medical professional such as a doctor or pharmacist has negligently provided you with medication that is incorrect and this has caused you to become ill. Please note a medical negligence claim can not be pursued just for being prescribed medication that is wrong. We will thoroughly explain this as we go through this informative guide.

If you are prescribed the wrong medication, or the dosage is wrong, the consequences can be serious. A minor health issue could be made worse, or you could suffer a severe reaction to the wrong medicine a medical professional prescribed. Should this happen to you, it could be seen as medical negligence on the part of the practitioner who prescribed the wrong medicine.

Wrong medication negligence claims guide

Wrong medication negligence claims guide

A prescription error could happen for a variety of reasons which includes giving a prescription to the wrong person. If you can provide evidence that a medic has prescribed you medication that is incorrect causing you to be harmed in a way that qualifies for compensation, it could entitle you to file a medical negligence claim.

All medical professionals owe patients a ‘duty of care‘ which is a ‘duty’ to provide an acceptable level of ‘care’. If a doctor or pharmacist was to negligently breach this duty in a way that saw you become ill or your medical condition got worse call our advisers today to see what your next steps could be.

In the sections that follow, you will find essential information on your rights as a patient. Moreover, we provide information on what you should do when you are prescribed the wrong medication by a doctor, pharmacy, or hospital.

We also offer an idea of the sort of damages you could seek in a successful wrong medication negligence claim. There is a compensation table that provides different amounts that were paid out for injuries in past cases.

To find out more about claiming wrong medication compensation, please click on the sections that follow. If you have any questions or queries, a member of our team is here to take your call on 0800 652 3087. An experienced adviser will provide free advice on how best to go forward with a claim.

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What Is Wrong Medication Negligence?

Wrong medication is when a practitioner prescribes the wrong medicine to you, or they make a mistake in the dosage. Such an error could have devastating consequences, more especially if a minor illness or injury is made that much worse. A delay in necessary treatment could mean it takes you that much longer to recover.

Being given the wrong medication can also happen at the pharmacy if the pharmacist reads the prescription wrong, mixes your medication up with another or provides a dosage that is incorrect.

To be able to make a wrong medication negligence claim it is important that you can provide evidence firstly, to show the doctor/pharmacist had been negligent in giving you the wrong medication. Secondly, that you suffered sufficient enough harm to qualify for compensation. If the care or treatment a medical practitioner provides is sub-standard, they would be in breach of their ‘duty of care’ towards you. Their error could lead to long-term health issues which may impact your ability to work or lead a normal life.

Seeking wrong medication negligence compensation may not change what has happened to you. However, being awarded the right level of compensation would go a long way in helping you in many ways. Firstly, it would help pay for ongoing treatment, care, and therapies you may need. Secondly, the payout you receive will compensate you for the pain and suffering you had to endure.

We have produced this guide to wrong medication negligence claims to provide essential information on your patient rights.

Furthermore, you will find information on the laws that medical professionals must follow. This includes their obligation to provide an acceptable level of care. It is the Care Quality Commission that regulates all healthcare services in England. This includes those who work within the NHS and medical practitioners in the private sector.

If you suffered harm because a medical professional prescribed the wrong medication, or they got the dosage wrong, seeking legal advice from a qualified medical negligence solicitor will allow you to have your case assessed.

To speak to one of our experienced and friendly advisers, please call the number shown at the top of the page. We provide free advice and will assess whether you have good cause to sue for compensation.

What Are Medication And Prescription Errors?

As previously mentioned above, a medication or prescription error might happen for a variety of reasons. It happens when there is a mistake made when:

  • Prescribing medication
  • Preparing medicines or prescriptions
  • Dispensing medication/prescriptions
  • Monitoring errors

A mistake can also occur due to an administrative oversight, or because the prescriber fails to check the patient’s history. An error in prescriptions or medication can be put into two categories which are:

  • Firstly, errors of omission, and
  • Secondly, errors of commission

When you are given the wrong medication, or you are prescribed incorrect medication, or the dosage is wrong, there are several things that could happen. Below we discuss this further. To find out if you have a valid wrong medication negligence claim, please reach out to a member of our team to receive free advice.

Causes Of Wrong Medication Negligence

If you are prescribed the wrong medication, it could have devastating effects on your health and well-being. It could prove fatal. There are various reasons and causes why a medical professional could make a mistake which includes:

  • Giving incorrect medication to a patient which contains an ingredient they are allergic to because they failed to check the patient’s history. This kind of error could prove fatal
  • Not checking that a prescribed medication may interact with medications a patient is already taking.
  • Dispensing the wrong medication because the pharmacist failed to carry out the usual protocol
  • The labelling or instruction on medication is incorrect
  • An error is made in the dosage or strength of a medication
  • A patient is given someone else’s medication/prescription by mistake
  • A medication is incorrectly administered to a patient at hospital

To find out whether you have good cause to claim for wrong medication negligence compensation, please contact a member of our team today. An adviser can assess your case if they can see that your case will lead to compensation being awarded they can then match you to a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

How Patients Could Be Harmed By Prescription Errors?

When a patient is given the wrong medication, the outcome can take various paths. This is because all medication is different and people react differently to medicines. Also, peoples condition can deteriorate quite quickly if they do not get the treatment they need.

Being prescribed or given the wrong medication which includes an incorrect dosage could lead to:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • An allergic reaction
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Death
  • The worsening of your current condition
  • Or an entirely new illness.

When an allergic reaction to medication is severe, it could lead to kidney failure as well as permanent liver damage. Other vital organs can also be negatively impacted. In a worst-case scenario, it could lead to life-altering brain damage.

To find out if you have a good reason to make a wrong medication negligence claim, please get in touch today. A member of our team will provide free advice in a quick no-obligation chat,

Wrong Medication Given By A GP

If you or a loved one was given the wrong medication by your GP for an injury or health issue, it could mean you suffer side effects from a medication you did not need to take, the wrong medication causes you to become ill or your condition gets worse as it is not getting the treatment you need. For a wrong medication negligence claim to be valid, you must show the following:

  • The GP was aware that you were allergic to the medication because the information was in your medical records
  • A pharmacy practitioner gave you the wrong medication because they failed to follow standard procedures
  • The doctor was negligent in diagnosing you therefore you were given medication that caused you negative health effects from the medication that was prescribed.
  • A doctor failed to make sure a medication did not have conflict with other medication you are taking
  • The dosage prescribed was incorrect; too high which caused you to overdose. Too low which caused your condition to deteriorate.
  • You were given the wrong advice on how to take a medication that a GP prescribed

The important aspect to take away from this is that to make any valid medical negligence claim you must be able to establish negligence. And you must be able to prove that this negligence led to you suffering harm you would not have otherwise been subjected to.

Medication Errors In Hospitals

According to statistics, there are over 200 million medication errors in England each year. If you are prescribed the wrong medication, the consequences can be far-reaching. You may have a severe allergic reaction to the medicine which could prove fatal.

Very often if you are prescribed a medication that is incorrect this will have very little if no effect on you at all. However this depends on whether you check the medication before you take it, what type of medication it is, whether you are allergic to it, does it interact with other medication you are taking and did your condition get worse because of this?

If you are unsure whether your case would qualify for a compensation payment why not call our claims team for clarification.

Pharmacy Wrong Medication Errors

A pharmacist just like all other medical practitioners in the UK owes the people they serve a ‘duty of care’. It is vital that this duty of care is upheld at all times. Failure to adhere to professional standards and deviate from proven procedures can mean mistakes may happen. Mistakes in the medical world can prove serious as this is peoples’ health we are talking about.

A pharmacist’s responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the quality of medicines they give to patients is of an acceptable quality
  • To follow all laws relating to dispensing medicines
  • To check that a prescribed medication is suitable for the patient
  • Provide advice about medication which includes allergy information
  • Answer patient questions about medication

A pharmacist can also provide advice to customers about over-the-counter medication. They can provide other services too which includes taking a person’s blood pressure and provide advice on reducing blood cholesterol levels.

When a pharmacist fails to dispense the right medication and you suffer harm, they could be in breach of their ‘duty of care’ towards you.

To find out whether you have good cause to make a medication negligence claim for compensation, please call the number at the top of the page. An experienced member of our team will provide free advice before recommending how best to proceed with your claim.

What Are My Rights If I Was Prescribed Or Given The Wrong Medication?

When you are harmed because you were given the wrong medication and you can show negligence on the part of a medical professional, you may have the right to seek compensation. As previously mentioned, all licensed medical practitioners in the UK owe patients a ‘duty of care’. If this ‘duty’ is breached, and you can show negligence that caused you to suffer more than you needed to this could prove to be the foundation of a medical negligence claim.

To speak to a member of our team about seeking wrong medication compensation, please call the number shown at the top of the page.

Time Limits In Which To Claim For Wrong Medication Negligence

When you want to seek compensation, you must file a wrong medication negligence claim within the statutory time limit. 

Generally, to start a medical negligence claim you must do so within the relevant time limits:

  • 3 years from the “date of awareness”, To clarify, the time limit starts from the time you are made aware of the harm/injury you were caused was due to negligence.

The time limit begins at the time of awareness because you may not immediately know about the harm you were caused. Time limits differ for those under the age of 18 and those who suffer from mental incapacities.

To benefit from free advice from one of our advisers, please call the number at the top of the page. Your case will be thoroughly assessed along with any evidence you can provide that proves negligence took place.

Wrong Medication Negligence Claims Calculator

The level of compensation you receive in a successful wrong medication negligence claim would depend on several factors. Firstly, the level of pain, suffering, and loss of amenity you endured. Secondly, the losses and expenses you incurred due to medical negligence and through no fault of your own.

You will be awarded general damages for the pain and suffering you endured because of the negligence. Your original condition will not be included in the claim unless it was worsened by the negligence then only the additional suffering will be included. You will also be awarded ‘special damages’ for your expenses and losses. As such, you must provide proof of these in the form of relevant payslips and receipts.

You could claim the following losses and expenses:

  • Medical costs – private treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, prescriptions, medical aids, ongoing long-term treatment
  • Travel costs – whether you travel by car, bus, train, or taxi to hospital appointments
  • Home adaptations
  • Vehicle adaptations
  • Loss of earnings for when you are recovering and therefore unable to work
  • Lost future income if your injury prevents you from working again
  • Care cost whether you are cared for by a family member, friend, or paid carer
  • Any other losses and expenses you can show are linked to the harm you were caused

Our table below provides a general idea of the sort of compensation specific injuries and harm could achieve. The amounts are provided as a guideline only. They are taken from a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. These guidelines show figures that have been awarded in past cases.

Injury/harm causedPotential Compensation PayoutsNotes
Severe Toxicosis£36,060 to £49,270Claimants might need to be hospitalised for several weeks and could suffer serious pain and discomfort. This includes vomiting, diarrhoea, and fever. In the long-term a claimant could develop IBS and other bowel function issues which could affect their ability to work
Serious poisoning which is short-lived£8,950 to £18,020Claimants suffer vomiting and diarrhoea which lasts anything from 2 to 4 weeks. Their sex life and food enjoyment are negatively impacted. Claimants bowel function is also negatively impacted for some time
Less severe poisoning£3,710 to £8,950Claimants suffer severe discomfort which includes cramping, fatigue, and bowel issues along with other serious symptoms. A claimant might need to be hospitalised for several days and full recovery could take anything from 1 to 2 years
Poisoning£860 to £3,710Claimants suffer from several days or weeks which includes discomfort, pain, cramping and diarrhoea
Damage to kidney/kidneysUp to £60,050Claimants are put at risk of suffering future infections due to damage to their kidney/kidneys and long-term medical care could be required
Damage to bowel function£41,850 to £65,440Claimants suffer impaired bowel function which impacts their ability to work and what they are able to consume

To find out how much your wrong medication negligence claim might be worth, please get in touch with one of our friendly advisers today.

No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Negligence Claims

Having legal help with a medical negligence claim can prove to be the difference between succeeding and not receiving compensation. It is not a requirement under the law to have a medical negligence solicitor represent you. However medical negligence law is complex, to say the least. If you are worried about the fees charged by solicitors why not opt for one that provides their services on a No Win No Fee basis.

You will be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which is more commonly referred to as a No Win No Fee agreement. When you sign and return the agreement to the solicitor, they can immediately start work on your claim. They can do so without asking you to pay an upfront fee or ongoing fees.

If the solicitor does not secure you a settlement, you do not have to pay them for the services they provide. In short, you won’t have to pay a ‘success fee’. That said, if you win your wrong medication negligence claim, you will pay the agreed percentage (this is capped) to the solicitor. The amount is deducted from the compensation payout you receive.

To find out if you can make a No Win No Fee claim, please call one of our expert advisers today.

How Our Team Could Help

To speak to a member of our team or to begin your wrong medication negligence claim, please get in touch. You can reach a member of our team by

Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we provide a free, no-obligation consultation.

Wrong Medication Statistics

A study has shown that adverse drug effects possibly caused by medication errors cause hundreds of avoidable deaths each year. Researchers of Universities of York, Manchester and Sheffield report that adverse drug reactions or ADRs are a contributing factor to between 1,700 and 22,303 deaths a year. It was estimated that 237 million medication errors happen each year in England.


Helpful Information

More information from the General Pharmaceutical Council is found on the link below:

The General Pharmaceutical Council

More on the role of the Care Quality Commission:

The Care Quality Commission

The General Medical Council website:

General Medical Council

Guide to your rights when given the wrong medication:

A Guide to your rights when given the wrong medication

Our guide to medical negligence compensation:

Medical negligence compensation explained

A guide to how long it takes to reach a settlement:

Guide to medical negligence claim settlements

FAQs About Wrong Medication Negligence

What should you do if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medicine?

Always seek medical attention as soon as you can if you have taken medication that has been wrongly given to you. You should also hold onto the medication the pharmacy dispensed to you.

What should you do if a doctor prescribes the wrong medication?

Seek medical attention at the earliest possible time. You could opt to go to a hospital if you are worried about the symptoms you are experiencing. Make sure you keep all the packaging and medication you were given.

Who could you make a claim against?

This depends on who you consider to be negligent in providing you with medication that was incorrect. It could possibly be your doctor or pharmacist.

How long do claims typically take?

A claim can be settled within months, or it can take years to reach a final settlement because it depends on the complexity of a medical negligence claim.

Guide by Honey

Edited by LisM.