Cohens Pharmacy Wrong Medication Negligence Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For A Prescription Error?

Cohens pharmacy wrong medication negligence compensation claims guide

Cohens pharmacy wrong medication negligence compensation claims guide

This guide is about making a Cohens Chemist wrong medication claim. When you’ve been treated by a doctor, you’ll usually need to pick up any medication from a pharmacy. This is the last step in your treatment and a very important one. A mistake by your pharmacist could cause you to suffer adversely or it could mean your existing medical condition gets worse. Therefore, we’re going to look at what mistakes could happen, the impact they could have and when you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Accident Claims UK can help you make your claim by offering free legal advice about the process. We also provide a no-obligation assessment of any medical negligence claim. When our advisors have spoken to you, they could introduce you to our panel of medical negligence solicitors. If they take on your claim, they’ll do so on a no win no fee basis.

To begin your claim right away, please give us a call on 0800 073 8801. Alternatively, to learn more about making a claim for compensation against a pharmacy, please continue reading.

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A Guide On Claims For Prescription Errors By A Cohens Chemist

All medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patient’s safety. That means they need to provide treatment that could be reasonably expected by a competent professional. That duty of care doesn’t just apply to doctors, nurses or surgeons though, it applies to pharmacists too.

Pharmacists are medical professionals who are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council. As such, they need to ensure they follow the correct procedures when dispensing medicines. Failure to do so, which causes a patient to suffer, could be classed as clinical negligence and entitle the patient to compensation.

As you read this guide, you’ll learn what types of pharmaceutical error could happen, what suffering they could lead to and when you could be entitled to make a claim.

Claims of this nature can be quite tricky and require complex medical evidence to support them. Therefore, we’d always advise that you have a specialist solicitor on your side. Also, you’ll need to allow the solicitor enough time because there is a claims time limit. This is a 3-year period from the date you found out that your suffering was caused by pharmaceutical negligence.

After you’ve completed reading our guide, we can help you if you have any outstanding questions. Our advice is free and there’s no pressure to make a claim if you’re not ready. Once you’ve discussed the pharmacy error that’s caused you to suffer, if you’d like to begin a claim then we could refer you to our panel of medical negligence solicitors.

What Are Chemist Prescription Errors?

A medication error is when a patient receives something different from what their doctor prescribed. It might be the wrong drug entirely, the wrong dosage or strength or it could even include labelling with the wrong instructions.

To claim for a chemist error, you’ll need to demonstrate that:

  • The pharmacist has acted below the standard that could be reasonably expected of a competent pharmacist in the same scenario. Legally, this is called a breach of duty.
  • You suffered an adverse reaction, or your illness became worse.
  • And that your suffering was caused as a result of the breach of duty.

What Is My Chemist’s Duty Of Care?

According to information from the General Pharmaceutical Council, there are a number of things pharmacists are responsible for. These include:

  • Making sure the supply of medication is within the law.
  • Ensuring the medicines prescribed are suitable for the patient.
  • Providing advice on how to take medications and any adverse reactions that might occur.
  • Ensuring the quality of the medicines dispensed is correct.

Also, they’re required to:

  • Ensure the systems they use are fit for purpose.
  • Provide advice to patients for non-prescription medication based on symptoms.
  • Supervise the preparation of medication before it’s given to the patient.

What Happens If A Chemist Makes A Medication Error?

Previously, a pharmacist could face criminal prosecution if they admitted to making a mistake. This meant they could be prosecuted even if they didn’t intend to cause any harm which was different from other medical professionals in the same situation. However, the Pharmacy (Preparation and Dispensing Errors – Registered Pharmacies) Order 2018 has changed that.

Under the new act, a pharmacist could avoid criminal charges if they made a genuine mistake while fulfilling a prescription, but they took prompt steps to contact any affected patients.

This doesn’t mean that a compensation claim can’t be pursued though. The act is purely to protect pharmacy professionals from criminal prosecutions.

How To Complain About A Pharmacy Or Chemist?

All patients have the right to complain about a pharmacy. To do so, they need to contact the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). According to the council, you can raise concerns about:

  • Dispensing errors such as incorrect labelling, out of date products or being given the wrong product altogether.
  • Serious inappropriate or unprofessional conduct.
  • Criminal conduct which could affect their fitness to practice.
  • Working while under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • Fraud or dishonesty. This could include claiming money wrongfully from the NHS or sick pay while working.
  • Unregistered pharmacists.
  • Or, finally, where the patient is concerned that the pharmacist has a health condition which affects their ability to practice safely.

Your solicitor might ask you to report the error, following a complaint procedure might provide more evidence to support you.

How Is A Chemist’s Fault, Or Liability And Fault Determined?

As with any type of personal injury/medical negligence claim, you’ll need evidence to try and prove that the pharmacist has been negligent. Therefore, if you are considering making a Cohens Chemist wrong medication claim, you could:

  • Keep hold of any packaging, bottles or blister packs that were dispensed by the pharmacist. Also, if you suspect the wrong medication was in a bottle, keep a sample in case testing is required.
  • Ask for copies of your medical records from the doctor who treated you after the mistake. These could be used to show what effect the wrong medication had on you. It could also highlight whether your underlying condition was made worse as a result of the error.
  • Obtain details from any witnesses who overheard advice from the pharmacist about the medication.
  • Retain, or ask your doctor for, copies of the original prescription.

Any evidence that you can supply could be used to support your claim. As mentioned earlier, as well as mistake being made, a claim for compensation against a pharmacist would require proof that the mistake caused you to suffer as well. A mistake without any suffering wouldn’t entitle you to claim compensation.

What Are The Consequences Of Wrong Medication?

In general, if a pharmacist makes a prescription error and you take the wrong medicine, there are 3 different scenarios of what might happen:

  1. Allergic Reactions – These are by far the most serious outcomes because they can prove fatal. If you’re given a drug which you’re allergic to, you could suffer symptoms like swelling of the lips or tongue, rashes, runny noses, dizziness, nausea or vomiting. However, you could also suffer anaphylactic shock which, if not treated as a medical emergency quickly enough, can be fatal. Usually, an allergic reaction will happen very quickly after taking the medication.
  2. Adverse Reactions – These are usually not fatal or life-threatening. However, they can cause problems to internal organs, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Some of these more minor symptoms could last for a few weeks to months and require hospitalisation.
  3. No Reaction – In some cases, you won’t notice any reaction to the medication at all. However, it is possible that, because you’re not taking the medication prescribed by your doctor, your underlying condition could be made worse.

In any of the above scenarios, if your existing condition is made worse or you suffer adverse effects, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Speak with an advisor today so that your case can be reviewed to see if you might be entitled to compensation.

Types Of Mistakes Made By Pharmacists And Chemists

In this section, we’re going to look at why a pharmacist or technician might make a mistake. Remember though, even if the type of mistake that caused you to suffer isn’t listed, you could still make a claim. The following are some of the possible reasons for medication errors:

  • Where the medication dispensed is wrong because it has a similar product name to the one on your prescription.
  • If the staff in the pharmacy are rushed to a high number of customers or staff shortages.
  • If you’re given somebody else’s prescription because they share a very similar name to you.
  • Where the medication you receive is incorrect because it looks similar to the one you were prescribed.
  • When you’re given the wrong dosage, or medicine, because the technician or pharmacist failed to check when they didn’t understand a medical abbreviation.

Importantly, any claim for a pharmaceutical error would be against the pharmacy rather than their staff. This means that the pharmacist must put measures in place to supervise correctly. Furthermore, procedures should be clear for all staff and error checking carried out whenever necessary.

Prescription Error And Wrong Medication Negligence Claims Calculator

Now that you’ve seen what impact being given the wrong medication can have, we’re going to look at how you might be compensated. While we can’t provide personalised estimates in this guide, because every claim is different, we can show you the claims calculator below. It contains figures from a document called the Judicial College Guidelines. The figures are used by solicitors, insurance companies and courts to determine compensation amounts.

Claim TypeCompensationInformation
Non Traumatic InjuriesUp to 49,270The initial symptoms in this category will include fatigue, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting as well as some serious acute pain. There will be the need for some weeks spent in hospital. Further, ongoing, symptoms will include incontinence, haemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome will have an effect on life enjoyment and work ability.
Non Traumatic InjuriesUp to £18,020This category covers serious but short lived symptoms including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. These symptoms will ease in around 4 weeks. However, there could also be an impact on enjoyment of food and a disturbance of bowel function over a few years.
Non Traumatic InjuriesUp to £8,950Stomach cramps, alteration of bowel function, fatigue and significant discomfort will be caused. Hospitalisation required with symptoms reducing after a few weeks. Total time for a full recovery may be between one year or two.
Non Traumatic InjuriesUp to £3,710Symptoms such as stomach cramps , diarrhoea and a temporary disabling pain over a few weeks.

In each case listed, the severity of the injury is important. If the wrong severity is determined in your case, you might not receive the right level of compensation. Therefore, when you claim with Accident Claims UK, our solicitors arrange for you to be assessed by an independent doctor.

The medical assessment is carried out as locally as possible, so you don’t need to travel too far. In the appointment, the doctor will examine you, look at your medical records and then ask you some questions. Following that, they’ll produce a report for your solicitor. This will list the injuries you suffered, how they affected you and whether you’re likely to suffer in the future. Using this report, along with other evidence, your solicitor can try and ensure you are compensated fully for your suffering.

Examples Of Other Financial Losses You Could Claim For

When you make a claim for suffering, there are usually two parts to the claim. These are general and special damages. In the previous section, we concentrated on general damages which is the compensation paid for pain and suffering. Special damages are different because they cover the financial losses you’ve incurred as a result of your suffering. Some examples of what can be claimed for include:

  • Care Costs.
    In cases where you need support while you’re recovering, you could claim back any related costs. For instance, the cost of a professional carer could be claimed for. Also, you might be able to claim back the time of a friend who looked after you.
  • Medication Costs.
    Although it’s true that the NHS offers free treatment for most people, you could still end up paying out for prescriptions and other medications. Therefore, these could be included in your claim.
  • Travelling Expenses.
    When you have to travel to and from doctor’s appointments (or hospital appointments), you might need to pay for fuel costs, car park fees or public transport fees. If that’s the case, you could ask for these costs back.
  • Lost Income.
    When you take time off work to recover, you might miss out on some income. The same is true if you need to attend medical appointments. Therefore, you could claim for any lost income as part of your claim.
  • Future Loss of Earnings.
    Finally, in more serious cases, if your suffering is going to impact on your ability to work for the long-term, you could be entitled to claim for future lost earnings.

To help your solicitor claim back these costs, try to keep hold of evidence like receipts, payslips, P60s and bank statements.

How Could Your Team Help Me To Claim For The Wrong Medication?

Now that you’ve seen when you could make a chemist wrong medication claim, and what compensation could be claimed, we hope you’re considering using Accident Claims UK to help you. Here’s a bit more information about how we work:

  • Our team of advisors can provide free legal advice and a no-obligation assessment of any claim.
  • We operate our claims line 7-days a week, 24-hours a day.
  • Some of our panel of solicitors have been handling claims for over 30-years.
  • We’ve received loads of positive feedback from previous clients.
  • If your claim is taken on, you’ll receive regular updates.
  • Our solicitors always try to ensure that they don’t cause any hold-ups.
  • Also, our solicitors always try to make sure you receive a full and fair amount of compensation for your injuries.

If you’d like any more information about how Accident Claims UK could help you claim for a Cohens Chemist error, please get in touch today.

No Win No Fee Prescription Negligence Claims

Many people will worry about the cost of making a personal injury claim. That’s quite understandable but you needn’t worry. That’s because, when our panel of solicitors agrees to take a claim on, they’ll do so on a no win no fee basis. This means that you can claim knowing that your financial risk has been reduced. Also, the claim will be a lot less stressful.

So, after the solicitor has assessed your claim, they’ll decide whether you could win compensation or not. If they believe you could, they’ll provide you with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. As with any legal agreement, you should read it thoroughly to make sure you know what you’re signing for.

Within the CFA, there will be two key points:

  • A statement that confirms you don’t have to pay any of your solicitor’s fees unless your case is settled in your favour (i.e. you receive compensation).
  • A section which explains the success fee you’ll pay when the claim is won.

The success fee is the way in which the solicitor’s work is paid for. Typically, it’ll be up to 25% of your compensation. So that you don’t need to transfer money to cover the success fee, the solicitor will deduct it from your compensation before it’s sent to you.

If you would like to find out whether we could help you claim using our no win no fee service, please get in touch and discuss your claim today.

Contact Us To Begin Your Claim

We hope that you’d now like to begin your claim with Accident Claims UK. If that’s the case, here are our contact details:

When you make contact with us, we’ll always follow the same claims process. We’ll start by offering an initial assessment of your claim from an advisor. They’ll gather some information from you and look at what evidence you’re able to supply. If they believe you’ve got a viable claim, they could connect you with a solicitor. If they also agree your claim is valid and offer to take your claim on, it’ll be on a no win no fee basis.

References For Wrong Medication Claims

We hope that you’ve received enough information to help you decide whether you’ll make a claim or not. To provide you with more assistance, we’ve linked to some more of our relevant guides as well as some external resources too.

Pharmacy Inspections – A website from the General Pharmaceutical Council where you can find the latest inspection reports for pharmacies in your area.

Find A Pharmacy – This useful NHS tool lets you search for pharmacies within your postcode area.

Prescription Error Claims – This guide takes a general look at claiming for a prescription error, not just against a particular pharmacy group.

GP Negligence Claims – A guide that looks at claims that could be made following a mistake by your GP.

Hospital Negligence Claims – This guide provides information on when a lawyer could help you make a claim for negligence in a hospital.

Article by BH

Edited MM.