Sainsbury’s Pharmacy Wrong Medication Negligence Claims Guide

Have you been ill, or suffered a worsening of your pre-existing medical condition because of a Sainsbury’s Pharmacy prescription error? Then you may be able to claim wrong prescription compensation.

Sainsbury's pharmacy wrong medication negligence compensation claims guide

Whether you were harmed because Sainsbury’s Pharmacy gave you the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of medication, or because of any other type of pharmaceutical malpractice you may be eligible to make a claim.

Trust Accident Claims UK to handle your pharmaceutical negligence case. Call us today on 0800 073 8801, to speak to one of our informed advisors and if we can see that you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation, we can provide you with an expert medical negligence solicitor to handle your prescription error claim.

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A Guide To Sainsbury’s Pharmacy Wrong Medication Claims

Sainsbury’s (J Sainsbury PLC) is the UK’s second-largest supermarket chain. It was founded in London in 1869 by John James Sainsbury. As well as groceries Sainsbury’s provides instore services such as Sainsbury’s Cafe and Sainsbury’s Pharmacy. Sainsbury’s Pharmacy dispenses prescriptions for NHS patients and patients of private healthcare providers, including repeat prescriptions. Their pharmacists are also qualified to advise the public on how to treat minor illnesses.

In this guide to making a compensation claim for a pharmacy error, we will advise you on what to do if you are given the wrong medication by a pharmacy. We will explain how to complain if you are given the wrong prescription by a pharmacy, and also tell you how to claim compensation for your ordeal.

Call Accident Claims UK for your free medical negligence claims consultation and if we can see that you are owed compensation, we can provide you with a solicitor to handle your case.

What Are Prescription Errors By A Pharmacy?

A prescription error is when a pharmacy dispenses a patient’s prescription incorrectly. For example, the pharmacist may give the patient the wrong medication, too low or too high a dosage of medication, or mix up medicines for two or more patients. Taking the wrong medication, or an overdose of medication can have a toxic effect on the body. In extreme cases, this can result in the patient dying, or suffering a cardiac arrest. If a patient takes a dosage of medication that is too low, this can have no effect at all. As a result, the patient can find that their medical condition deteriorates over time, sometimes doing irreversible damage.

The Importance Of Pharmacist’s Duty Of Care

Healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, owe their patients a “duty of care”. This means that they are legally obliged to provide their patients with an adequate standard of care and follow professional best practices. If a pharmacist, or a pharmacy practice breaches this duty of care and a patient is harmed as a result, this is known as medical negligence, pharmaceutical negligence, or pharmaceutical malpractice. This could include giving a patient the wrong prescription, or medication that is expired. Because pharmacies and pharmacists owe patients a duty of care, the pharmacy can be held liable for any injuries, illnesses or worsening of a pre-existing medical condition caused by pharmaceutical negligence. In which case, they could have to pay the injured person compensation.

What Happens When Pharmacies Make Errors?

According to self-reporting statistics, there are 10,000 medication and prescription errors a year, out of billions of dispensed prescriptions. A study suggests ”quarter of a million patients are given the wrong medicine every year”.  A study of 11 UK pharmacies by the International Journal of Pharmacy Practice found that 3% of prescriptions dispensed, involved an error.

A pharmacist giving a patient the wrong prescription or wrong dosage of medicine can be fatal in extreme circumstances. Examples include an 82-year-old man who was given blood pressure medication instead of paracetamol by his pharmacist. Another example was a 62-year-old woman who was prescribed medication to treat her Crohn’s disease but was given diabetes medication by her pharmacist. Because of this negligence, she slipped into a hypoglycemic coma then died.

Until 2018, pharmacists could be prosecuted for harming a patient by dispensing the wrong prescription. This understandably meant that pharmacists were reluctant to report the errors they made, which may explain the discrepancy between the reported number of mistakes, and the numbers found by the study we have referenced above.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and pharmacists campaigned to change the law, arguing that it was causing pharmacists to be secretive about genuine but nevertheless harmful mistakes that they have made. The law was changed in 2018, to protect pharmacists from being prosecuted if they made a genuine mistake. It was hoped that over the long term it would create a culture of transparency and accountability, which would help to reduce pharmacy errors.

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How To Make An Official Complaint Against A Pharmacist?

If you have experienced a pharmacy prescription error, you could make an official complaint against the pharmacist. Your first port of call may be the pharmacy, who will have a formal complaints procedure. If you were not harmed by the error (for example Sainsbury’s Pharmacy gave you the wrong medication, but you realised it was wrong when you checked the label, so did not take the medicine) Sainsbury’s Pharmacy will not be liable.

The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, pharmacists are obliged to follow the following protocols when they receive a complaint.

  • The complaint must be dealt with efficiently
  • The pharmacist must properly investigate the complaint
  • The pharmacist must treat the patient courteously and with respect
  • The complaint must be responded to in a timely manner
  • After investigating the complaint, the pharmacy must take action in response to the complaint, if it is necessary
  • The pharmacy must inform the patient what the outcome of the complaint was.

If you were ill, or you experienced a deterioration of your pre-existing medical condition due to negligence on the part of Sainsbury’s Pharmacy, you could also complain to the NHS commission for your country.

Pharmacy Liability For Medication Mistakes

Does a pharmacy always have general liability when a prescription error takes place? No, sometimes another party may be at fault. Here are some pharmacy medication error examples where the pharmacy is not at fault. A patient’s GP may misdiagnose the patient’s condition and prescribe unsuitable medication. Or they may neglect to review the patient’s notes and prescribe medication that cannot be taken with drugs that the patient is already taking. In this case, it is the doctor and practice they work for, who could be held liable for the patient’s illness. Similarly, if a patient is given drugs by a pharmacist that contain traces of other drugs, the manufacturer may be responsible for any harm caused, not the pharmacist.

If it is not clear if the pharmacy is liable your medical negligence solicitor can investigate to see who is at fault.

Types Of Pharmacy Errors You Could Claim For

Here are some pharmacy medication error examples that you may claim compensation for:

  • Pharmacy dispenses the wrong medication to the patient.
  • Pharmacy dispenses too high a dosage of medication to the patient.
  • The pharmacy dispenses too low a dosage of medication to the patient.
  • Pharmacist mixes the medication, with another type of medication. Or traces of one type of medication are found in another type of medication.
  • The pharmacy dispenses medication that is out of date or has expired ingredients.
  • The pharmacy mixes up prescriptions for two or more patients, so the wrong prescription is dispensed to the person.
  • Pharmacists are also responsible for talking to patients and giving them advice about how to take their medication. If the pharmacist provides the patient with the wrong instructions on how to take their medicine, this is a form of pharmaceutical misconduct.

We recommend that you always double-check to make sure you have the right medication before you take it. Check that your name is on the package, that the medication and dosage are correct and that the pills inside the blister pack or bottle appear to be correct. If you believe something is wrong with your prescription, consult your doctor before taking it.

If you have experienced any of the pharmacy medication error examples we have described above and have been harmed as a result, you may be able to claim wrong prescription compensation. Call Accident Claims UK to speak about your experiences to an advisor, and if you have legitimate grounds to claim compensation, we will provide you with a first-rate solicitor to handle your case.

What Are The Effects Of Pharmacy Prescription Errors?

If you have experienced a Sainsbury’s Pharmacy prescription error, you may have suffered the following adverse effects:

Some drugs can be harmful if mixed with other medications. This is because mixing the drugs changes how the active ingredients in the drugs work. Therefore if the pharmacist (or manufacturer) mixes the medication with traces of other drugs, it can have a harmful effect on the body. For example, if a person is taking ADHD medication such as Ritalin and is also given certain cold and flu medications, it can cause high blood pressure and damage the person’s heart.

Other medications can have a harmful effect on the body if they are not suitable for the patient they are given to. For example, if a patient is given medication for a condition they are not suffering from, this can have a toxic effect on the body. If a patient is allergic to an active ingredient in the medication, this can result in them going into an anaphylactic shock, from which the patient may fall into a coma, or die as a result.

If the patient is given too high a dosage of medication, this can have a harmful effect on them. Consequences of a drug overdose can include suffering liver failure, or cardiac arrest, which can be fatal. If the patient is given too low a dosage of their medication, the drugs may have little to no effect. As a result, the medical condition that the patient is already suffering from may get worse over time.

Medication can also become ineffective if it is not taken correctly. For example, some medication only works if the medication is taken on an empty stomach. If a pharmacist’s instructions are wrong, for example, they tell the patient to take the medication with food, they could be held liable for any harm that comes to the patient as a result.

If you have been harmed because of pharmacy negligence, on the part of Sainsbury’s Pharmacy or any other community pharmacy, call us today to see if you are eligible to claim compensation.

Calculating Compensation For A Medication Error

If you make a successful pharmacy error compensation claim, you will be awarded general damages and special damages, as part of your compensation package. What does this mean?

General damages will compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity, caused by your illness, or the worsening of your medical condition.

Special damages are funds to reimburse you for any financial losses or out of pocket expenses you have experienced as a result of your injuries.

You can use our table to help you estimate how much wrong medication compensation you could claim, in general damages.

Injury And Level Of Injury Settlement (including 10% uplift) Notes
Non traumatic injury – Level (i) £36,060 to £49,270 At this level, harm could include severe toxicosis. Symptoms which may affect the claimant could include fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. It may also include pain or fevers. Requiring hospital admission for some days or weeks.
Non traumatic injury – Level (ii) £8,950 to £18,020 Serious but short-lived poisoning – could affect your bowels, could affect your sexual function and enjoyment of food over a few years.
Non traumatic injury – Level (iii) £3,710 to £8,950 At this level, the symptoms and their effect on the claimant will be less severe and less long-lasting. The illness may still require hospital care or treatment.
Non traumatic injury – Level (iv) £860 to £3,710 This is the lowest level of severity for non-traumatic injuries. The claimant could have suffered symptoms such as stomach cramps and pain as well as bowel symptoms.
Chest injury – Level A £94,470 to £140,870 At this level, an injury to the internal chest cavity could include injury to the heart.
Kidney damage – Level A £158,970 to £197,480 This level compensates loss of both kidneys.
Kidney damage – Level B Approximate maximum £60,050 Less serious than the category above, there is still risk of the loss of kidney function or future kidney illness.
Kidney damage – Level C £28,880 to £42,110 At this level, damage to the kidneys or single kidney could include one kidney being lost and the other still functioning.

Please be aware that this table is a tool to help you estimate how much compensation you could claim. The amount you are entitled to may vary, depending on the circumstances of your injuries. The table does not include how much you could claim in special damages. For a more accurate estimate call Accident Claims UK to speak to an advisor.

Types Of Special Damages You Could Claim

Unfortunately becoming ill can be a financial burden as well as an emotional burden. If you make a successful wrong medication claim, you will also be able to claim back any financial losses or expenses you incurred, as a result of the pharmaceutical negligence incident. Examples of expenses that people claim when they make a claim include: travel expenses, medical expenses, home adaptation expenses, care expenses, mobility equipment expenses.  You can also claim for loss of income if you were unable to work whilst you were recovering from your illness.

How We Could Help You Claim Against A Pharmacy

If you have been harmed by negligence on the part of Sainsbury’s Pharmacy, or any other pharmacy, call Accident Claims UK today to see if you can claim compensation. What can Accident Claims UK offer you, if you wish to make a claim?

  • An in-depth call with a claims advisor
  • The services of a knowledgeable solicitor
  • The promise that we will strive to win you the maximum amount of compensation you could be entitled to claim
  • Your claim will be handled on a no win no fee basis.

No Win No Fee Claims For Pharmacy Prescription Errors

If you make a medical negligence claim with Accident Claims UK, our panel of solicitors can handle your claim on a no win no fee basis. This means that your solicitor will handle your pharmacy negligence claim, without charging you an upfront fee. You won’t have to worry about finding the funds to pay for your claim in advance. Instead, you will only have to pay a success fee, on the condition that the solicitor wins your claim. This means that it is your solicitor that takes on the financial risk. To learn more about making a no win no fee claim, call Accident Claims UK today to speak to one of our advisors.

Contact Our Team To Make A Pharmacy Error Claim

To begin your Sainsbury’s Pharmacy error claim, call Accident Claims UK on 0800 073 8801 or use our online claims form to get in contact. If we can see that you are owed compensation, our panel of medical negligence solicitors will start working on your case as soon as possible.

Wrong Medication Claim References

Here are some more guides you may find useful:

Article by HC

Edited by MM.