Whilst the prescribing doctor is responsible for the initial decision as to what medication is appropriate for a patient, the dispensing pharmacist also has two duties.
- To dispense the correct medication and provide suitable information
- To ensure that the medication dispensed will not be harmful to the patient
In some circumstances, a lapse in concentration or a poor administration system can lead to the pharmacist prescribing the wrong medication and in some cases with serious or even fatal consequences.
In cases where a doctor has prescribed inappropriate medication, a pharmacist has a duty to check that the medication prescribed is suitable and will not harm the patient. In cases where both the doctor and the pharmacist allow inappropriate medication to be prescribed and dispensed, it is usual to have two Defendants and to claim against both professionals.
Stringent regulations govern drug trials in the UK. However, there can still be unexpected consequences – as illustrated by the drug trials case at Northwick Park Hospital in 2006.
The purpose of all drug trials is to test whether a new drug is both effective and safe. Clearly, there is uncertainty from the outset as to the precise risks and as a result it is can be difficult to bring a claim when there is a poor outcome.
Claims can arise when the outcome is of a completely different nature, or the effects are more serious, than predicted at the outset of the trial. If it is found that regulations were flouted by the manufacturer and the person taking part in the trial suffers an injury, there could be grounds for a claim.
If you believe you may have a claim following a drug trial or has been given incorrect drugs, please contact a us for a free initial consultation.
CLAIMANT v PHARMACIST
The Claimant attended her local pharmacist to collect her repeat prescription of Physeptone.
The Claimant was mistakenly dispensed 600mg Pethidine. The Claimant took the medication experienced palpitations and collapsed. The Claimant suffered anxiety and distress as a result of the dispensing error.
CLAIMANT v WEST MIDDLESEX HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
The Claimant had Tuberculosis with relevant symptoms. He presented to the Defendant Trust who failed to prescribe anti-TB medication.
The claim succeeded on the basis of a 5 day delay in commencing treatment – no long term consequences.
Out of court settlement. Damages £3,000.