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Asda Pharmacy Dispensing Error Mistakes

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Every month we have clients getting in touch when they have suffered the after effects of medication errors and dispensing errors made by the NHS, pharmacists and local chemists when the wrong medications have been given out.

Recent figures from NHS England show that 6,000 people were actually harmed by NHS prescription errors in the past year and astonishingly 29 people died after a wrong prescription was given to them.

How to minimise dispensing errors in pharmacy

“The simple act of dispensing medicines should be easy to check, electronic systems and printed labels are often in place, but nothing beats double checking and actually looking at both the box and the tablets inside to make sure they are the correct dosage and confirming all is correct,” advised Jacqueline White, solicitors and head of medical negligence at Pearson Solicitors.

“People take medication to make them feel better, but the wrong medication can have devastating side effects and all too often we see pharmacists making mistakes when medication is dispensed,” she warned.

Counter checking all tablets and medicine, dosages as well as making sure it is the right medication is important to minimise such dispensing errors.

It’s not only hospital pharmacies that mix up prescriptions, often we act for clients who have been given the wrong medication by high street chemists.

Asda pharmacy dispensing error case

One client was given the wrong dose of medication twice by the same Asda Pharmacy in Hull and we were able to secure £1,200 compensation settlement for the pharmacy dispensing errors.

Our client had worked as a carer for many years but had to retire due to spinal stenosis and took medication to help with her condition and manage the pain.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces in the spine and can compress the spinal cord and nerve roots, resulting in severe back and neck pain, sometimes numbness, tingling and weakness in both the arms and legs.

In this case, one of the medications prescribed to our client was three 25mg Amitriptyline tablets to be taken each evening to ease her back pain and help her sleep.

After collecting her medication from her local Asda pharmacy she noticed the tablets were a different colour, but she put this down to it being a different brand. Only when she noticed her back pain increasing and after five nights of no sleep, headaches and nausea did she check her medication to discover she had been given 10mg tablets instead of 25mg and reduced the dosage by 15mg.

Our client complained to her Asda pharmacy and was given the correct dosage.  Asda apologised and assured her lessons would be learnt and training is given to staff to prevent any future dispensing errors.

The next month her dosage and prescription were correct and her pain eased.  However, only a month later the same mistake occurred.  She took what she thought to be the correct 25mg tablets only for her pain symptoms to remain.  She did not believe the same mistake could have been made, but when her son checked her prescription she had once again been issued 10mg instead of 25mg.  The label on the box stated 25mg tablets, but the tablets inside were actually 10mg.

Breach of Duty of Care by Asda pharmacy

Our client made a claim against Asda pharmacy for a Breach of Duty of Care as no reasonable pharmacist would have approved the dispensing of 10mg instead of 25mg and they had failed to correctly check our client's medication on two separate occasions.

As a direct result of this substandard care, our client suffered severe headaches, nausea, increased back pain, disturbed sleep and generally felt unwell and her husband and son had to look after her during this time.

“We use pharmacists on a regular basis and put our trust in them expecting medication to make us better.  When pharmacists make dispensing mistakes patients deserve answers and in this, as in many prescription error cases, we can handle the claim via email and telephone calls, clients do not have to come in to see us and more often than not the claim is settled out of court,” said Jacqueline.

“Thankfully in this case our client made a full recovery but sometimes the cases are more drastic.  I would urge everyone taking tablets to check and double check their prescriptions and to get in touch if they have any questions regarding claims against a chemist.”

How can we help

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors deal with dispensing error cases on a daily basis which have resulted in settlements between £1,000 and £20,000 when the wrong dosage or the wrong type of tablet was dispensed by the pharmacy.

For legal advice on dispensing errors, medical mistakes and any other medical compensation claims contact our medical negligence solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Jacqueline White


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