A Guide To Wrong Medication From A Pharmacy Claims In The UK

By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 2nd January 2024. If a pharmacy gives the wrong medication to you through the provision of negligent care, this could cause you to suffer harm that could have been avoided. If you can prove that the unnecessary harm you suffered was caused by a medical professional breaching the duty of care they owed, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.

Within this guide, we will discuss the duty of care all medical professionals owe, including pharmacists. We will also provide examples of how a medication error in a pharmacy could occur and whether they could lead to a valid claim.

Furthermore, we will set out the time limits that must be adhered to when starting a claim for clinical negligence. We will also provide examples of evidence that could be used to support a medication error claim. Additionally, we will list some of the benefits of making a medical negligence claim with the help of one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

If you would like to get free advice for your case, please contact one of our advisors today. They can be reached by:

Receiving the wrong medication from a pharmacy

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Select A Section

  1. Wrong Medication Given By Pharmacy – Am I Eligible To Claim?
  2. Time Limit For Medication Error Claims
  3. Evidence For Claiming – What To Do If A Pharmacy Gives You The Wrong Medication In The UK
  4. Wrong Medication Compensation Claims Calculator
  5. No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Claims Against A Pharmacy
  6. Essential References

Wrong Medication Given By Pharmacy – Am I Eligible To Claim?

You might be wondering, ‘am I eligible to claim after a pharmacy gave me the wrong medication?’ In the UK, pharmacists have a duty to provide patients with care that conforms to the level reasonably expected of any competent medical professional.

Should a pharmacist breach their duty of care, for example, wrong medication is prescribed to you and you subsequently suffer harm, it may be possible for you to begin a medical negligence claim.

However, you’ll need evidence of any injuries or financial harm you sustained as a result of receiving a wrong prescription. Furthermore, if wrong medication is given by a pharmacy, you must be able to prove the pharmacy was liable for the harm. We’ll discuss examples of evidence later in this guide.

Types Of Prescription And Wrong Medication Errors

Prescription errors could happen if a doctor prescribes you the wrong medication or if a pharmacy fails to dispense the medication prescribed by the doctor. These could include:

  1. The pharmacy provides the patient with the wrong type of medication.
  2. The pharmacy provides the patient with the wrong dosage of medication.
  3. The pharmacy gives the wrong package to the wrong customer, potentially mixing up prescriptions for several patients.
  4. The pharmacist provides the patient with incorrect or misleading advice about their medication.
  5. A pharmacist issues medication that has expired.

Time Limit For Medication Error Claims

Generally, if you are eligible to make a pharmacy negligence claim, you would only have a certain amount of time to begin legal proceedings. Generally, you will have three years to start your claim from the date you suffered the unnecessary harm or the date you first connected the harm with negligence. This time limit is set out under the Limitation Act 1980.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, those under the age of 18 would not be able to make a medication error claim until they reach their 18th birthday. During this time, however, an adult could apply to be a litigation friend and bring a claim forward on their behalf. Should no claim have been made prior to their 18th birthday, they will have three years from this date to start their own claim.

Exceptions also apply to those who lack the mental capacity to make their own claim. For cases such as these, the time limit is suspended, and a litigation friend could act on their behalf.

Contact our advisors today if you have any questions, such as, ‘A pharmacy gave me the wrong medication, do I have enough time to start a medical negligence claim?’.

Evidence For Claiming – What To Do If A Pharmacy Gives You The Wrong Medication In The UK

If the wrong medication has been given to you by a pharmacy, causing you to suffer harm, you could potentially make a medical negligence claim. However, you may be wondering what to do if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication in the UK.

Following a medication error, there are certain steps you could take and evidence you could collect to help support your claim and prove that negligence occurred, such as:

  • Keep a copy of your prescription form as evidence of the medication your doctor prescribed you. This could then be compared to the medication you were given to prove that the medication given to you by the pharmacy was the wrong medication.
  • Make a direct complaint to the pharmacy where the negligence occurred and keep records of all correspondence with them.
  • Photographs of any visible symptoms or a diary where you have written down any non-visible symptoms you are experiencing due to the medication error.
  • A copy of your doctor’s notes after a follow-up appointment after the medication error, stating any symptoms you have been experiencing.

If you think that you have taken the wrong medication, it is always best to seek medical attention to ensure your health and safety.

Contact our advisors today if the wrong medication has been prescribed to you to see whether you could make a claim. Our friendly team is available 24/7 to answer your questions and help you with your specific claim.

Wrong Medication Compensation Claims Calculator

If you are successful in making a medication error claim, your compensation payout will include general damages.

General damages compensate you for the suffering and pain caused by the pharmacy negligence you experienced.

Those valuing this head of claim might refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for guidance. This document provides guideline payout brackets for different forms of harm at varying levels of severity.

Below, we have used some figures from the 2022 edition of the JCG to form the table below. These figures are only meant as guidance, however.

Injury Comments Amount
A combination of severe injuries with their associated financial losses and costs. Multiple severe injuries that result in suffering and pain as well as financial costs and losses such as medical expenses and loss of pay. Up to £1,000,000+
Very Severe Brain Damage (a) There may be a little ability in terms of being able to follow basic commands but response to environment would be almost non-existant. £282,010 – £403,990
Kidney Both kidneys have either been lost or permanently damaged. £169,400 – £210,400
Kidney There’s a risk of the kidney losing the ability to function or of developing a future UTI. Up to £63,980
Kidney One kidney will have been lost with the other suffering no damage. £30,770 – £44,880
Bowels A complete loss of the bowels natural function with the person depending on a colostomy. Up to £150,110
Bladder Serious impairment of the bladder’s control and function. £63,980 – £79,930
Digestive System (b)(i) A fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute pain caused by severe toxicosis. The person may have to be admitted to hospital for a few weeks. £38,430 – £52,500

If you have incurred financial losses due to the unnecessary harm you suffered, you might also be eligible for special damages. Special damages compensate you for financial expenses caused by the medical negligence.

They could include:

  • Travel costs for transport to medical appointments, for example
  • Medical expenses for prescriptions, mobility aids, etc.
  • Loss of income – if you’ve lost out on pay during your recovery because you couldn’t work
  • Care costs – if you’ve needed care at home due to the avoidable harm you suffered

To get more information, please contact an advisor. They could also answer questions such as, “Can I claim for other costs and losses if a pharmacy gave me the wrong medication?” and “Can a solicitor help with my claim?”

No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Claims Against A Pharmacy

Now we have answered questions, such as, “A pharmacy gave me the wrong medication, can I make a medical negligence claim?” you may be wondering about hiring legal help for your case.

If you have a valid pharmacy negligence claim, one of our solicitors may be able to assist you. They could help you gather evidence to support your case and negotiate a compensation settlement on your behalf.

Additionally, our solicitors offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis under the terms of a Conditional Fee Agreement. Under this arrangement, you won’t have to pay your solicitor any fees for them to start working on your case. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay them for their work while your claim is progressing or if it ends unsuccessfully.

Should they succeed with your medication error claim, your solicitor will take a success fee out of the compensation awarded to you. This fee is a small percentage that is subjected to a legal cap.

To see whether you could work with one of our experienced solicitors, you can contact our advisory team today. They can be reached by:

  • Calling 0800 073 8801
  • Using the contact form to get in touch.
  • Contacting an advisor via the live chat.

Essential References

Clinical & Medical Negligence Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation – Information on making clinical or medical negligence claims.

Misdiagnosis Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim? – Information on claiming compensation for a misdiagnosis of an injury or illness.

Medical Negligence Leading To Death Compensation Claim Amounts – The Complete Guide – Information on claiming compensation for fatal medical negligence.

£40,000 Medical Negligence Compensation Payout For Hip Replacement Injury Claim – Hop Replacement Case Study

External Resources

A Guide To Standards For Pharmacy Professionals By The General Pharmaceutical Council – A reference guide from the General Pharmaceutical Council.

A Guide To Raising Concerns About A Pharmacist Or Pharmacy Technician By The General Pharmaceutical Council – Information on how to raise concerns about a pharmacist with the professional body.