Pharmacy negligence claims may arise when there are errors in prescribing or dispensing of drugs which can obviously be harmful. If you have suffered unduly, our solicitors can help you get compensation.
Dispensing drugs in the pharmacy are most often done correctly without any problem to the patient. But in certain instances, there have been errors which have led to life threatening conditions for the patient.
In cases where you or a loved one has suffered harm or unnecessary complication due to an error made by the pharmacist; you can make pharmacy negligence claims.
Pharmacists like every healthcare professional owe a duty of care to everyone who comes with a drug prescription. Dispensing the wrong drug or indicating a wrong dosage can cause serious problems for the patient. This is why pharmacists should be careful in the discharge of their duty.
Every pharmacist is therefore expected to ensure that they do not make any error while on their job as the consequences of a prescription error can be traumatizing. The NHS estimates that in England, over one billion items are prescribed every year meaning that around 2.7million items are prescribed every day.
What is Pharmacy Negligence?
Pharmacy negligence refers to when a pharmacist or pharmacy technician makes an error while either prescribing, dispensing or administering a medication to a patient which causes health complications for the patient.
Such errors may include mixing up prescriptions and giving them to the wrong people, prescribing the wrong dosage or even giving the patient incorrect information about their medication.
Pharmacies are expected to keep a record of all the medications they dispensed, as well as make the necessary intervention when they are convinced that a prescription could harm the patient.
How Can Pharmacy Negligence Happen?
Pharmacy negligence can be caused by mistakes from the pharmacists, mishandling and mixing up a prescription or registering the wrong prescription into a computer.
If you or your loved one has received an incorrect prescription from your doctor (GP negligence), or a pharmacist dispenses the wrong medication to you, then you could need to secure the services of a pharmacy negligence attorney to help you make a compensation claim.
Pharmacy negligence cases in the UK include;
- Prescription error
- Dispensing the wrong type of drug or dispensing the wrong dose which could be as a result of reading a prescription wrongly
- Giving patients incorrect information on how to take their medication
- Failing to store medication correctly, such as storing at the wrong temperature and also failing to inform the patient of proper medicine storage practices
- Loss of patient’s medical records as regard the drugs dispensed to them
- Failing to check the prescription properly for accuracy before dispensing
- Dispensing counterfeit drugs as a result of failing to ensure that the medicines in possession are genuine
- Failing to advise patients about potential side effects of drugs
- Continuously giving a patient a prescription repeatedly without having them visit their doctor for proper medical check-up
If you or your loved one has experienced such pharmacy negligent actions, you may have a strong ground to make a claim. We encourage you not to delay contacting us so that we can set up a meeting to discuss your claims.
What Are The Possible Consequences Of Prescription Error?
The consequences of prescription error can either be minimal or life-altering, ranging from as little as ranging from nausea to anaphylactic shock to kidney damage and even death.
When the pharmacy gives you the wrong prescription, you may only suffer no improvement in your health because you are taking the wrong drug, you may have a double effect of the potential side effects of the drug you received, you may however suffer a very severe drug reaction requiring you to be rushed to the hospital for emergency actions.
Additionally, you may suffer financial losses as a result of the negligence. In some cases, although rare, pharmacy negligence has led to death of the victim.
Why Should I Make A Pharmacy Negligence Claim?
There are different reasons why you need a pharmacy negligence lawyer to assist you with your pharmacy negligence claims. Making claims provides the opportunity for the pharmacy management or whoever the defendant is to make proper investigations and do the necessary changes to ensure improved healthcare service delivery ensuring that it doesn’t happen to another person.
Of course, if your claims are successful, you will be awarded a compensation amount which reflects the pain and suffering, emotional distress as well as financial losses incurred.
Therefore, if you think your prescription was negligently handled or mistakes were made while dispensing a medication to you, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.
Who Complains About Pharmacy Negligence?
The following steps are recommended when you want to complain about a pharmacy malpractice-
- Talk to a member of staff- expressing yourself in clear terms what your complaints are. Your case may be resolved at this stage
- Contact the pharmacy complaints manager- this may be an employee or not who is responsible for managing the procedures for handling complaints
- If the pharmacy is one of the NHS commissioned services or service providers, you may write to NHS England
- If this fails, write to the Parliamentary And Health Service Ombudsman
Making Pharmacy Negligence Claims
In order to make your pharmacy negligence claims, you need to speak with a professional negligence pharmacy solicitor to tell you what you need to do to make a claim. Choosing the right medical negligence solicitor to handle your claims is very important towards winning it. This will not only ensure that the claims are settled as quickly as possible, but also that you get the right amount of compensation fee as well as ensure that you focus on your recovery.
As with every medical negligence claims, you should be ready as the claimant to show proof
- That the pharmacist owed you a duty of care;
- The pharmacist breached that duty of care
- That you have suffered damages as a result of the negligent treatment.
From the above, we can see that you have to show that the pharmacist was liable and their liability is the proximate cause of your suffering.
To do this, there are several documents which you need to provide. Our solicitor, personally assigned to you for the purpose of this case can also assist you in making the documents available.
- Detailed statement of what happened and the pharmacist involved
- Proof of drugs prescribed and the ones dispensed
- Proof of financial loss as a result of the injury suffered
- Witness statements
- Photos showing extent of damage
If your case requires it, we will also provide you with a different medical professional to perform a medical examination on you and give a detailed report of the effects of the negligent act on your health.
Suing The NHS For Negligence Pharmacy therefore involves these steps;
- Speak with us to discuss your claims. Our consultation sessions are free of charge where our professional yet friendly and understanding solicitors will listen to your story, offer you free legal advice and if we are convinced of your chances of winning, proceed to undertake your claims under our No Win No Fee policy.
- Gather Evidence To Support Your Claims
- Notify the defendant party through a letter of claim
- Get the defendant party to accept liability
- Register the claims in court – this does not mean that your case will go to a court trial. However, it is a standard procedure and it helps both parties to meet set deadlines and comply with legal rules. Encouragingly, court cases involving pharmacies are very few. In fact, only 2% of all claims against the NHS go on to a trial.
- Negotiating favorable pharmacy malpractice settlements and payment
Pharmacy Malpractice Settlements
Like every other medical negligence claim, pharmacy malpractice settlements do not have a definite award value but vary according to the uniqueness of the case. Using our medical claim calculator, we can give you a realistic indication of what your compensation fee will be like.
While making your compensation claims, you may claim for the following damages;
General Damages – Which covers for the pain and suffering suffered
Special Damages – Which covers for costs incurred, present and estimated future costs. These include- costs for medical expenses, costs for rehabilitation and therapies, housing adjustment costs, costs of hiring caregivers and loss of income, pension or inheritance.
Pharmacy Negligence Payout Guide
|Severe toxicosis||Including acute pain, diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and hospital admission.||£36,060 to £49,270|
|Serious but short-lived poisoning||Severe but short-lived symptoms which are acute for a few weeks but have an impact on quality of life over the next few years||£8,950 to £18,020|
|Moderate poisoning||Significant discomfort, cramps, changes in bowel function and fatigue. May be admitted to hospital for a few days and experience symptoms for a few weeks||£3,710 to £8,950|
|Mild poisoning||Pain, cramps and diarrhoea for several days or weeks||£860 to £3,710|
How To Protect Yourself From Pharmacy Errors?
Inasmuch as we trust our medical professionals when it comes to drug prescription and dispensing, we should be aware of an element of human error. It is thus advised that we double check our prescription bags before leaving the pharmacy. If you can, ask some questions, seek clarifications- these will go a long way to minimize prescription mistakes.
These are some of the recommended steps to take to protect yourself against pharmacy medical negligence-
- Match the medication on your prescription note against the medicine in your dispensing bag to ensure they are correct
- Ensure that your name and not of another person is printed on your prescribed medication
- If the pharmacist has failed to advise you, you may check the drug leaflet for best ways to store the drug and the dosage to take. Better still call your doctor and ask questions about any confusion you have.
- Where the drugs will have to be repeated over time, it is important that you stay in constant touch with your doctor and give feedback about the drugs. Also ensure that you go for the required medical checkup so to check that your body is responding well to the drugs or if there is a need to change them.
- Also ask the pharmacist if you can combine the medications with any other drugs you were taking previously. Do not assume that the pharmacist knows.
Pharmacy Negligence Claims Time Limit
You will be allowed a three-year window to make your claims according to the Limitation Act of 1980. This means that from the day the negligent treatment occurred or when you first became aware of it, you will have only three years to start your claims.
The exceptions to this rule include-
- Cases involving children- The affected individual can make claims from his or her 18th birthday with the limitation period ending at the individual’s 21st birthday.
- Cases involving physically or mentally incapacitated persons- who can be allowed time until they recover sufficiently to make their claims.
In these two scenarios, a family member can make claims on their behalf. Such a person is known as a litigation friend.
During our consultation session, our lawyers can give you a clearer explanation on how to make claims on behalf of another person if you have concerns about this.
Contact Our Pharmacy Negligence Lawyers
Our Pharmacy negligence claims are handled by our specialist lawyers under our No win no fee policy. This gives you the opportunity to make your claims without any fear of paying legal fees.
Through this policy also known legally as Conditional Fee Agreement, you can make your claims without any financial risks whatsoever. Even if your claims were not successful, you are protected from paying the defendant a dime thanks to an insurance cover we take out on your behalf.
Only after a successfully settled negligence case shall we deduct 25% of your compensation award as a “success fee.”
Reach out to us at your earliest convenience or call us on 0800 644 4240 , let’s have a chat and make that claim for you.