Is your prescription correct?

People have been put in danger and even died as a result of incorrect prescriptions being given out by pharmacies.

Kate Lax, a solicitor in Wake Smith’s clinical negligence team urges patients to routinely check that they have been given the correct medication.

Kate said: “The team is regularly contacted by family members concerning relatives who have suffered as a result of wrongly administered or wrongly prescribed medication.

“There is a real possibility that a pharmacist may dispense the wrong drug or incorrect dose to a patient and we have seen recent cases where this kind of error has had fatal consequences.

“Even if a mis-prescribed drug doesn't cause a fatality, there is potential for a patient to suffer significant illness either from taking another drug that shouldn't be in the prescription, or because the correct drug for their condition hasn't been taken and the underlying health issue worsens as a result.

“It is not always easy to spot if the wrong drug has been given out because pharmacies and GP surgeries may use a number of different companies to supply the same drugs and depending on availability and price, the manufacturer and packaging may change on a regular basis.

“Because of this – many people are familiar with seeing their medications arriving in different boxes and even different formats, so one week the drug may be in tablet form, the next in capsule form and this can make identifying errors that bit more difficult.

“Also, most people, and particularly the elderly, rely on the fact that they have been given the correct medication and see no need to check the packaging. For those with failing eyesight, this can also be a problem.

“What we urge is for all people on prescribed medication to diligently check the description, name and dosage of their medication each time it is issued to ensure that it correlates with your required prescription.

“For those with elderly relatives, you may wish to do this for them if you are in the habit of collecting meds on someone else's behalf.

“If you find that medications handed out in a prescription are incorrect, then you should immediately raise a complaint with the pharmacy that issued them.

“You will have good cause to claim if you are taken ill as a consequence of medications which have been dispensed incorrectly or if a relative has died as a consequence of taking wrongly dispensed drugs.”

If you have a medical negligence issue, please contact Kate Lax at kate.lax@wake-smith.com or on 0114 266 6660.

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