Who Could Claim For Prescription Errors By A Pharmacy?

By Jo Caine. Last Updated 13th July 2023. Prescription errors in a pharmacy can take involve many different kinds of medication. Because of this, they can also lead to a variety of injuries and illnesses. There is a minimum standard of care that medical professionals must provide their patients.

If the care given does not reach this standard, then this is an example of medical negligence. If a patient’s health is negatively impacted due to medical negligence, then they could be owed compensation as a result.

Prescription error in pharmacy

Prescription error in a pharmacy claims guide

Pharmacists fall under the category of healthcare professionals, so prescription errors that result from a breach of duty of care could result in a medical negligence claim.

We encourage you to get in touch with us if you have any issues regarding your claim. We are here to answer your questions. Read on for more information.

Select A Section

  1. What Are Prescription Errors In A Pharmacy?
  2. Who Could Claim On Your Behalf?
  3. How Far Back Could The Error Have Occurred?
  4. How To Claim If Harmed By A Prescription Error
  5. I Was Harmed By A Prescription Error In A Pharmacy, What Can I Claim?
  6. Discuss How A No Win No Fee Solicitor Could Help You

What Are Prescription Errors In A Pharmacy?

There are certain medications that legally require a prescription in order for you to access them. They are stated in The Medicines Act 1968. Some of them can cause a patient’s health to be affected if there is an error in the way these medications are prescribed. 

The pharmacist may have made a mistake when dispensing the medication. Some examples of a dispensing error include:

  • An improper dose being dispensed – the pharmacist may have misread the prescription, leading to the wrong dose being given. Doses that are too high carry risks to patients, but so do doses that are too low.
  • The wrong prescription being issued – there may have been an administrative error at the pharmacy, leading to a patient receiving medication intended for someone else.
  • Dispensing a drug without a prescription – an unauthorised drug could cause the patient harm. The distribution of prescription medication is carefully monitored to avoid those who do not require a prescription medication from taking it unless necessary.

Drug prescription errors can lead to a variety of injuries and illnesses. How an error affects you depends on your circumstances. However, some prescription errors in a pharmacy can cause:

This is not an exhaustive list. It’s still possible that your injury may have been caused due to a pharmacy prescription error even if you’ve not experienced any of the effects above. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions.

Who Could Claim On Your Behalf?

In some instances, claims for prescription errors in a pharmacy cannot be made by the individual who has been affected. Therefore, it can become necessary to appoint someone who can make a claim on their behalf.

This person is known legally as a litigation friend. They can step in and claim on behalf of the injured individual if they can prove that they have the claimant’s best interests in mind.

For example, anyone under 18 cannot make a claim. So, a parent or guardian may claim for them, for example. However, a litigation friend for a child can also be a family member, a trusted older friend or a solicitor. 

Additionally, there are certain individuals who cannot make a claim themselves because they suffer from a reduced mental capacity. This could be due to something permanent, or something from which they are expected to recover. 

For more information on when prescription errors in a pharmacy could be caused by negligence, speak with an advisor today.

How Far Back Could The Error Have Occurred?

There is a general 3-year time limit from the date of the incident for you to start your claim. This is stated in the Limitation Act 1980. However, sometimes you may not be aware of your injuries on the same date as the incident took place. Your symptoms may only arise at a later date.

If this is the case, then the time limit runs from the day you knew (or should have known) that your injuries were related to negligence. This is referred to as the date of knowledge. 

For cases involving children, their time limit is suspended as they cannot pursue their own claim by law. It only begins on their 18th birthday. Before this, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf and the time limit is suspended. 

The same is true for those with a reduced mental capacity. Their time limit only begins if their mental capacity reaches a point where they can pursue their own claim. While they lack the mental capacity to claim, the time limit is suspended, and a litigation friend can claim on their behalf.

For more information on the time limits that apply to claims for prescription errors in a pharmacy, speak with an advisor today.

How To Claim If Harmed By A Prescription Error

If you are eligible to make a prescription error claim, gathering sufficient evidence could help with proving that you suffered unnecessary harm due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.

Some examples of the evidence you could collect include:

  • A copy of your medical records, stating any diagnosis and treatments prescribed to you.
  • A copy of your prescription form.
  • The box of the medication you were given.
  • Correspondence with your healthcare practitioner.
  • Evidence of any financial losses you suffered due to the prescription error.

One of the solicitors on our panel could help you with gathering evidence for your prescription error compensation claim. To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of them, you can contact our friendly advisory team. They can also offer you free advice for your potential claim.

I Was Harmed By A Prescription Error In A Pharmacy, What Can I Claim?

The table below shows some example entries from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a publication used by legal professionals to assist them in valuing claims.

These guidelines relate to the general damages head of a claim. This is the part of the compensation that relates to the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused you. It’s important to note that these are just guidelines; the amount you actually receive might vary.

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Injury Description Amount
Sight (b) Total blindness In the region of £268,720
Kidney injury (a) Serious permanent damage to one or both kidneys. £169,400 to £210,400
Epilepsy (a) Established Grand Mal £102,000 to £150,110
Digestive system (b)(i) Severe illness with pain, vomiting, etc. £38,430 to £52,500
Digestive system (iv) Varying degrees of symptoms such as cramps for only days or weeks £910 to £3,950
Post-traumatic stress disorder (b) Moderately severe- likely to cause significant disability in the future. £23,150 to £59,860
Psychiatric damage (c) Moderate- a marked improvement and positive prognosis £5,860 to £19,070
Mental anguish (E) When you think you may die  £4,670

You may also be owed compensation relating to costs associated with your injuries. This head of your claim is called special damages. 

Some examples include:

  • Loss of earningsyou may have had to take unpaid time off work due to your injuries. You will need to present payslips to prove how much you would have earned over this period.
  • Travel costs – if you have had to take public transport or taxis to and from medical appointments, for example.
  • Loss of enjoyment – you may have been unable to go on a holiday that was already paid for.
  • Medical expenses – you could claim back the cost of prescriptions or treatment that you can’t get on the NHS.

Get in touch to find out more about how much claims for prescription errors in a pharmacy could be valued. 

Discuss How A No Win No Fee Solicitor Could Help You

All of the solicitors on our panel work on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that you won’t be expected to cover their costs if your claim isn’t successful. 

You only need to pay them if you receive a settlement for your injuries. In the event that this happens, they’ll take a small percentage from your compensation. The majority of your settlement is protected, as the percentage that they can take is capped by law.

Furthermore, you won’t have to pay them anything to secure their services. There’s also nothing for you to pay them as they work on your claim.

Get in touch with us today and we can let you know whether or not you could be eligible to make a No Win No Fee claim. You can:

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Follow the links below for additional information on the topic of prescription errors in a pharmacy, and other related subjects.

  1. Read this NHS document on past medication errors.
  2. Help with grief and bereavement after a loss.
  3. An overview of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  4. Another of our guides on what to do following a pharmacy prescription error. Here you can learn more about how such errors can happen and what legal action you can take. 
  5. Read about how to claim for a medication error in a nursing home.
  6. More on proving medical negligence.