When you visit a doctor because you’re unwell, their job is to diagnose what’s wrong with you and to recommend a course of treatment to make you better. In many cases, this will mean you’ll need to collect prescription medication from a pharmacy. While pharmacy errors are relatively rare, they can happen and, if they do, can cause serious health problems. If you or a loved one have been affected by such a mistake, this article on pharmacy negligence claims will explain your options.
We have a team of medical negligence solicitors that could help you to sue a pharmacy for errors that have caused you to suffer. To help you understand your options, one of our specialists will offer a no-obligation consultation where you can ask questions and receive legal advice about your claim. If your claim is taken on by a solicitor on our panel, you’ll benefit from their legal expertise on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning you’ll only pay legal fees if you’re compensated.
Please read on if you’d like to learn more about pharmacy negligence claims. Alternatively, please call us on 0800 652 1345 today to discuss your claim for free.
Can I claim compensation for pharmacy negligence?
Pharmacists have a duty of care to try and protect patients by providing a suitable standard of care. This means following the correct rules and procedures when dispensing medicines and providing advice.
Before a medical negligence lawyer takes on a pharmacy negligence claim, they’ll check whether:
- The pharmacist (or a member of their team) breached their duty of care towards you (negligence); and
- You were made ill or your existing condition became worse as a result of that negligence (causation).
To be clear, even if a pharmacist makes a serious error, you will only be able to claim compensation if that has caused you to suffer in some way.
Types of pharmaceutical negligence leading to medical negligence claims
In this section, we’ve added a few examples of pharmaceutical negligence that could entitle you to compensation if it makes you ill or causes your underlying condition to worsen. They include:
- Dispensing the wrong medication or dosage after reading the prescription incorrectly.
- Providing inaccurate advice to the patient on how to take or when to take their medication (either on the label or verbally).
- Dispensing drugs that you are known to be allergic to.
- Providing medications that are out of date or damaged.
- Giving a patient somebody else’s prescription because of a lack of safety checks.
- Failure to explain the potential side effects of a drug to the patient.
- Dispensing medications that have been stored incorrectly i.e. where the drug is stored on a shelf rather than in a refrigerator.
- Poor record-keeping about medications that have been dispensed to patients.
- Dispensing counterfeit or unauthorised medications.
- Failure to explain how the medication should be stored in the patient’s home (written or oral advice).
If you’ve been made ill or your existing condition was made worse because a pharmacist was negligent, please feel free to call to see if we could help you to claim compensation.
Suffering caused by pharmacy errors
There are several ways in which pharmacy negligence could lead patients or customers to suffer. Some examples include:
- Allergic reactions from medication.
- Organ damage if you’re given a drug that is too strong.
- Adverse drug reactions leading to vomiting, nausea and stomach problems.
- Your underlying illness gets worse after being given the wrong medication because you’re, effectively, not being treated correctly.
- Mental trauma caused by anxiety or distress after a medication error.
In more serious cases, pharmacy errors can cause fatal or life-threatening injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered following a pharmacy error, please let us know what happened and we’ll review your options.
Who are pharmacy negligence claims made against?
If you have suffered following negligence by a pharmacy, you might wonder who you need to make your claim against. Generally, pharmacy negligence claims are made against the insurance policy held by the company operating the pharmacy. This could be a national high street chain, an independent pharmacy or a pharmacy located within a GP surgery. Importantly, you might be able to sue for damages whether your suffering was caused by a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician or a member of staff within the pharmacy.
What to do after a pharmacy error
If you believe a pharmacy mistake has occurred, there are a few steps you could take including:
- Reporting the mistake to the pharmacy.
- Seeking medical advice if you’ve taken the wrong medication (even if no obvious symptoms of side effects have presented).
- Report a pharmacy mistake to the General Pharmaceutical Council which may decide to investigate.
- Retain any medication packaging or labels.
- Seek legal advice if you believe you should be compensated for any suffering caused by the error.
Please call us on 0800 652 1345 today to discuss a pharmacy negligence claim for free.
How much compensation for pharmacy negligence can I claim?
When you seek damages for medical negligence by a pharmacy, you will usually claim general damages to deal with any injuries or illnesses caused by the pharmacy error and special damages to cover any costs you’ve incurred. This could mean claiming compensation to cover:
- The physical impact of your injuries (pain and suffering).
- Any psychological harm (distress, anxiety, depression etc).
- Lost income where you had to take time off work unpaid (or reduced sick pay).
- Any effect your illness has had on your hobbies, social life or family activities (loss of amenity).
- The time somebody spent caring for you while you were ill.
- Medical costs which could include remedial treatment in a private hospital.
- Travel expenses.
- Loss of future earnings for longer-term suffering.
- Modifications to your home or vehicle where they’ll make it easier to cope with any long-term impact of your injuries.
As you can only make a single claim following pharmacy negligence, you’ll need to ensure all aspects of your suffering are included in your claim. The solicitors on our panel will try to ensure you receive the maximum level of compensation possible if they work on your case by reviewing it in detail before your claim is filed.
Medical assessments for pharmacy negligence claims
When you make a pharmacy negligence claim, you’ll need a medical assessment by an independent specialist to ascertain the extent of your injuries. Until their report is received, your solicitor won’t be able to say how much compensation you’ll claim.
Providing proof for pharmacy negligence claims
When making any type of compensation claim, you will need solid proof to show what happened and who was to blame. When claiming for pharmaceutical negligence, the types of proof that might help include:
- Your medical records. These could help to confirm how you’ve suffered and what mistake was made by the pharmacy.
- Witness statements. In some cases, your solicitor might ask relatives or friends to explain the changes they’ve seen since you were made ill.
- Medication and packaging samples. In some cases, keeping boxes, bottles and other packaging could make it easier to prove that a product was out of date or the wrong guidance was given. Also, medication could be tested to confirm that it was the wrong dosage.
- Your own diary. You may also wish to write down everything that has happened after pharmacy negligence made you ill. This could include a list of expenses plus a record of any events you missed because you were ill.
As part of our free consultation, your advisor will look at any proof you’ve collected already so please have it available when you call.
Pharmacy negligence claims time limits
If you decide to sue a pharmacy for negligence, you’ll have 3-years to begin the claims process. This will usually begin from the date the negligence was spotted or when your suffering was linked to it by a doctor.
Beginning your claim as early as possible has a number of benefits including:
- Gathering proof will be easier.
- Your solicitor will have enough time to arrange for expert medical reports.
- It may be possible for interim payments to be requested to pay for any immediate costs before your claim is finalised.
To check how long you have left to make your claim, please speak to an advisor today.
Start a pharmacy negligence claim today
The easiest way to start a claim against a pharmacist is to call our advisors on 0800 652 1345. We’ll review your claim for free, provide legal advice and explain what steps you could take next.
If your claim is accepted by a lawyer on our panel, they’ll work for you on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning no upfront legal fees which should make your claim much less stressful.
If you’d like to know anything else about pharmacy negligence claims, please call our team today, use our live chat service to get in touch, or arrange a free consultation here.