I’ve been given the wrong medication – what are my rights?

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Whether over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs, we rely on pharmacists and GPs to make sure we get the right medicine. So if things go wrong and you’re given the wrong medication, can you claim compensation?

What are my legal rights when it comes to prescription mistakes?

If the medication you’re given or been advised to take causes you additional health problems, you may be entitled to claim compensation for pharmaceutical negligence.

Essentially, there are two ways that pharmacy or prescription negligence claims can happen:

  1. The doctor prescribing your medication makes a mistake, i.e. doesn’t look at your medical records properly and neglects to notice you’re allergic to penicillin.
  2. The pharmacist themselves make a serious error, i.e. by weighing out the wrong dose of a correctly prescribed medication.

Pharmacists do have some responsibility to act as ‘gatekeepers’, by catching obvious errors in a doctor’s prescription note, or clarifying unclear instructions. It’s unlikely (although not impossible) for legal action to be taken against a pharmacist in this scenario, however, as the original error lies with the doctor.

Can I claim compensation for incorrect medication?

It is possible to claim compensation if your doctor or pharmacist makes a mistake while prescribing or preparing your medication.

Some examples of pharmaceutical compensation claims include:

  • Giving you the wrong medication
  • Prescribing medicine that interacts badly with other medication that you take
  • Giving you the wrong dose (too much or too little)
  • Prescribing a drug which you’re allergic to or affects an existing health condition

If you think your pharmacist or GP has made a mistake, get in touch with a clinical negligence solicitor for an expert legal opinion.

Case study: prescription error leads to £60,000 compensation

How we can help

If you believe that you’ve suffered an injury as a result of clinical or medical negligence, complete our 
online enquiry form or call our specialist solicitors on 0117 905 9763 for advice on how to make a claim for medical negligence.


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