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Compensation Claims for Medication Errors

Can I claim compensation for medication errors made by a chemist rather than a doctor?

Medication errors can have serious consequences to the health, be it an incorrect dosage or the wrong medication altogether. Both doctors and pharmacists should be aware of the doses and should provide you with drugs which will help your condition rather than jeopardise your health.

When you have visited a doctor and have been prescribed the right treatment, only to have a pharmacist make a mistake and give you the wrong medication, it can make you angry, and can prolong the recovery phase of your illness. However receiving the wrong medication alone is not sufficient grounds for claiming compensation. Only if the medication errors have caused you harm can you claim compensation.

Receiving the wrong medication may also involve contributory negligence of the patient, as it is a patient´s responsibility to check that the medication they have received is as prescribed. In the cases of repeat prescriptions, where there is a change to the pills, the patient would be expected to check that they have the correct medication. If the change is noticed, yet the new medication is taken and results in injury, it could be argued by a defence that the patient has been negligent to their own health by failing to alert the doctor. Any compensation payments for medication errors in this case may be reduced due to the contributory negligence of the patient.

In order to make a claim for medication errors compensation, you must have suffered an injury as a result of the error, and the pharmacist or doctor must be deemed to have been negligent. Any incorrectly prescribed drugs or medication can be considered to be negligent, but it is only when there has been a personal injury as a result that medication errors compensation can be claimed. If you take medication and it has no effect, and you find out on a later visit to the doctor that you have lost time in treating a condition, it is possible that this could form the basis of a claim.

A specialist medical negligence solicitor would be able to advise you on your case, and give you an indication of the compensation that would likely be awarded to cover your injury, pain and suffering.