Make a claim for compensation
Patients receiving the wrong medicine as a result of prescription errors can result in very serious illness and even death in severe cases. If you have been given the wrong prescribed medication for your ailment or injury, then you could be entitled to compensation.
Smith Partnership's medical negligence team offer expert legal guidance relating to medication and prescription error claims, helping to ensure that you get the compensation you're justly owed. Get in touch with us today to arrange a no-obligation consultation.
How common are prescription errors?
Statistics show that approximately 237 million medication errors occur each year in the UK through the NHS. Further research has shown that over 700 deaths occur annually as a result of ADRs (avoidable adverse drug reactions). However, when accounting for deaths which could have been contributed to by ADRs, this number rises to as many as 22,300 deaths each year.
Responsibility for ensuring that patients receive the right drugs rests with both the doctor and the pharmacist. While the process for prescribing medicines is usually operated via a computer programme, many instances still occur where the wrong drugs are dispensed through the likes of technical failure and human error.
When can medication error claims be made?
Incorrect dispensing and prescription errors can arise in a variety of circumstances. Regardless of the best intentions of the pharmacy and GP staff, lapses in judgement, human error and negligence continue to occur.
One of the most common examples which often results in a claim for prescription error compensation include instances in which the wrong type of drug is dispensed to the patient. However, there are also situations in which the right drugs are dispensed but are received by the wrong patient.
Being prescribed a different strength or dosage than was prescribed or intended to be prescribed by the GP to treat the issue may also justify making a claim. Dosages that are too high bring along the possibility of avoidable overreactions, side effects and overdosing. On the other hand, dosages that are too low could mean that the drugs are not strong enough to treat the injury or illness effectively.
Slow release drugs that are wrongly prescribed can also have serious consequences and may result in compensation being appropriate. If a patient has been prescribed a slow release drug accidentally, then this could result in their ailment or medical issue getting much worse.
Technical errors frequently cause the wrong medication to be prescribed. However, errors may also be caused by pharmacy staff themselves. This is often due to issues relating to the printing process used by the vast majority of GP practices.
Prescription errors involving children are especially serious due to the potential they have to cause adverse damage to their developing bodies and minds. This makes children particularly vulnerable to medication errors. When prescribing to children, extra consideration should be taken to determine the safest dosage for their precise age and weight.
How can medical negligence solicitors help?
If you've been faced with a prescription error, you may be able to make a claim if it can be established that you suffered as a result of negligence through taking the wrong medicine.
Mounting a medical negligence claim is the first step in ensuring that you are fairly compensated for the avoidable consequences of a prescription error, and having first-rate legal expertise in your corner can go a long way in helping you achieve justice.
Most commonly, claims of this kind are subject to a three-year time limit that starts from the moment you first knew you had suffered due to a prescription error. However, different time limits apply in cases that involve children or individuals that lack the mental capacity to pursue compensation themselves. A legal expert can advise you on the best approach to suit your particular circumstances.