Misprescription of Drugs Claims

Have you been given the wrong drugs or medicine?

You may be entitled to compensation.

"The adult may be safely treated as a child; the converse can lead to disaster" [William E Ladd].

Misprescription of drugs can occur in a variety of ways and in a number of different situations. If you have been placed in any of the situations set out below you could have a medical negligence compensation claim.

Prescription Errors/Mistakes - Medical negligence claims advice

Case example

Wrong medication given to patient

On 5 October 2006 a lady was discharged from hospital with another patient’s medication. She used the tablets and on 7 October had pain in her abdomen, chest and back as well as constipation. The pain gradually got worse and on 9 October 2006 she was readmitted to hospital and at which time the mistake was recognised and she was told that she had suffered an allergic reaction to the medicine. She made a complete recovery and was discharged from hospital one week later.

Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors recovered damages of £3,500 on her behalf.

The wrong drugs:

  • Many drug errors arise through careless prescribing, eg misreading of badly written and illegible prescriptions when medication with similar proprietary names, but very different actions become confused.
  • The wrong prescription eg adult strength tablets instead of those designed for children (when the latter are required).
  • Being given the wrong medicine can result in tragic consequences and are often the result of simple human error or sheer carelessness. The most dangerous mistakes occur in hospital practice where particularly potent drugs are used. A number of factors are known to contribute to serious drug errors. They include:
    • The increasing complexity and potency of modern treatments.
    • Staffing patterns that interfere with continuity and consistency of care for both doctors and nurses, eg short term rotations through specialist units or the necessity for inexperienced doctors to cross cover specialist units either because of staff shortages from leave, illness or from the required reduction in junior doctor hours without a commensurate increase in staff.
    • Inappropriate delegation of specialised treatment procedures to relatively junior and inexperienced staff.
    • Physical and emotional exhaustion from working long periods without sleep.
    • Inadequate or nonexistent systems for cross checking potent drug doses between doctors, between nurses or between doctors and nurses.
    • Failure to identify certain drugs or substances as being particularly dangerous by distinctive labelling and safe storage.
  • Believe it or not simply giving a patient another patient’s medication by mistake.
  • Miscalculating drug reactions: Doctors must take account of manufacturer’s instructions and known side affects when prescribing medicines, although they should not necessarily rely on the manufacturer’s information unthinkingly, since it is known that manufacturers are not always entirely frank about the contraindications or risks associated with their product. Where a doctor ignores the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings, it is the doctor who is responsible for any adverse reactions.

To find out more about miscalculating drug reactions please read our guide to misprescription of drugs.PDF file

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

The Legal 500 2016

"The ‘particularly diligent’ team at Simpson Millar LLP handle cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy claims. The ‘very hardworking’ Lisa Swales was promoted to partner in 2015.

Simpson Millar LLP’s caseload includes spinal injury and Erb’s palsy claims. "

Medical negligence compensation

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a misprescription of drugs and have suffered an injury as a result of the medical negligence of a third party you might be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our specialist medical negligence compensation solicitors now for a free consultation.

Call our helpline today on freephone: 0808 129 3320 or use our free, no obligation, online enquiry form to register for a call back.


Please note: If your medical negligence complaint relates to a medical facility in Scotland or Ireland this will fall outside of our solicitor's jurisdiction and we advise you to contact a local solicitor, however if you now live in Scotland or Ireland and your complaint is regarding a medical facility in England or Wales we will be more than happy to assist you. You may find our guide to making a complaint regarding treatment of use.

Get In Touch

David Thomas - Medical Negligence Solicitor - London

David Thomas
Partner, Medical Negligence

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