Prescription Error Claims

To make a successful wrong prescription claim, you will need expert legal advice and representation from a specialist medical negligence solicitor.

Pile of colorful medicine pills and capsules in blister packs

Making a wrong prescription compensation claim

It is vitally important that when prescribing medications, the medical professional ensures that the type of medicine, the dosage and the instructions given are all correct for the patient in question.

Mistakes, though rare, can happen and can have serious consequences for the individual taking the medicine. Either through side effects or from their condition not being treated.

If you have received the wrong prescription, incorrect dosage or incorrect instructions, you could make a wrong prescription compensation claim.

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Can I sue a doctor for prescribing the wrong medication?

If you have been prescribed the wrong medication to cure or ease your symptoms or ailment, you may be entitled to make a wrong prescription claim. There are several circumstances which can lead to you or a loved one being able to make a claim for wrong medication compensation. These include:

  • Your GP or doctor prescribing you medication that you are allergic to if it should have been known from your medical records that this is the case.
  • A pharmacy provides you with the wrong medication at the point you collect/purchase this.
  • A GP or doctor prescribing the wrong medication for the symptoms or ailments that you have, meaning the treatment is ineffective and at worst potentially harmful to your health.
  • Your GP or doctor prescribes you medication that conflicts with the medication you are already taking.
  • Your GP or doctor prescribes you too high or too low a dose of the medication you need.
  • A GP, doctor or pharmacy provides you with incorrect advice on how to take the medication, i.e. too frequently, too infrequently, the incorrect dose or in the incorrect form. For instance, you may be told and given instructions to dissolve medicine in water or take it with food, when in actual fact, this is not what should be done.


  • No win, no fee claims
  • Recognised prescription error specialists
  • Free and expert initial advice

What is a prescription error?

A prescription error is any instance where a mistake has been made in relation to a person receiving their prescription medication. The NHS classes incorrect medication as a ‘patient safety incident’.

For a prescription error to amount to negligence, and potentially lead to a claim it would need to be proved that the error led to a reduction in the probability of any treatment being effective, or if harm came to the person taking the incorrectly prescribed medication.

Types of prescription errors

There are predominately two occasions where you may experience an incorrect prescription. When the prescription is given, and when the medicine is received.

Prescription Stage

  • Incorrect dosage or ineffective dosage is given leading to adverse effects, or the condition being effectively left untreated
  • A prescription is given to someone with a known allergy
  • A prescription is given to someone that could react to medication that they are already taking.

Dispensing Stage

  • Medication is given to the wrong patient, or a mix-up in prescription occurs
  • Labelling errors which could lead to an incorrect dose
  • Incorrect dosage
  • Incorrect instructions are given, such as the method of taking the medicine.
Get expert legal advice

Call today and speak to a specialist medical negligence lawyer. Find out if you can claim compensation

CALL 0800 083 5500

Effects of being prescribed the wrong medication

Being prescribed the wrong medication can, in the worst cases, be life-threatening and cause patients to be hospitalised. Examples of this would include when patients are allergic to a medication they have been prescribed, causing a severe reaction. Or where prescribed medicine conflicts with another the patient is already taking, causing severe side effects and/or potentially limiting the effectiveness of one or both of the medicines.

However, even cases which are not life-threatening can still cause severe side effects such as nausea, headaches, fatigue, light-headedness, as well as problems sleeping and concentrating. The exact possible side effects will be dependent on the medicines prescribed and any combination of these. The longer the period over which the wrong prescriptions continue to be taken the more severe are the side-effects likely to be. This is in addition to the risk of more long-term health risks.

Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors represented Mr Shaw after doctors ignored a blood test which led to necrotising fasciitis and sepsis.

Mr Shaw

How long do I have to make a prescription error claim?

As with all claims of medical negligence, you have three years from when the negligence occurred to bring forward a claim. This could either be three years from the date of the negligent act, or three years from when you became aware of negligence taking place.

Trying to bring forward a claim after three years have elapsed is extremely difficult, and is most likely not going to be successful. There are however some exceptions to the time limit. For example, if the person is under 18, or if the person in question lacks mental capacity.

If the person is under 18, the time limit will only come into effect once they turn 18.

Blackwater Law testimonial

Jason and the barrister together managed to get us the best possible outcome in my opinion. Our future’s settled, there’s peace of mind for our children.

Mr Shaw, as feature in above video.

Settlements for a wrong prescription

For cases of medical negligence, the amount of compensation you could receive in a settlement will vary greatly from case to case. The amount received as part of a settlement will depend on a variety of factors such as how severely the negligence has impacted in terms of injuries suffered, as well as how large an effect those injuries have had on your day-to-day life.

If you are no longer able to work for example, you could be entitled to significant compensation, which is calculated based on the loss of earnings you are now expected to face.


Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors acted for Mr L in a medical negligence claim in the High Court after he was misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis meant he went on to suffer a serious stroke-causing life-limiting disability.

No Win, No Fee prescription error claims

At Blackwater Law, we understand the negative effects and mental stress that taking a wrong prescription can have on you and your family. We also appreciate that the notion of paying legal fees for representation can mean you are put off claiming the compensation you may be entitled to. That is why we undertake all medical negligence claims on a no-win, no-fee basis.


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