Posted in Medical Negligence on Wednesday 24 April 2019

We at Cantillons have had some queries as of late in relation to pharmaceutical errors. These errors include incorrect dosage advice, incorrect labelling on medication, failing to advise the patient on dosage upon dispensing the medication, the dispensing of the incorrect medication etc. These errors can be life threatening for the patient/customer, particularly, where an accidental overdose occurs.

In order to investigate pharmaceutical errors such as those listed above, the course is slightly different to that of a “standard” medical negligence matter. Technically speaking, “pharmaceutical care” does not equate to “medical care” per se. It is therefore necessary to submit an application to the Personal Injuries Board Assessment to potentially have the matter assessed there in the first instance. The Personal Injuries Board (“PIAB”) may deal with the matter themselves, or may issue an Authorisation under section 17 of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Acts 2003 and 2007, allowing you to issue proceedings in the normal course.

One must be mindful of the Statute of Limitations in these matters which is two years running from the date of the wrong doing. Therefore, taking the extra step of lodging an application in PIAB needs to be borne in mind.

In order to succeed in cases such as these, one must prove;

A. Breach of Duty

A Pharmacist has a duty to take reasonable care of his/her patient/customer. A Pharmacist will breach this duty if he/she does not provide care which conforms to the standard reasonably expected of a competent Pharmacist. It is not enough to say that another Pharmacist would have acted differently, what must be categorically said is that no other Pharmacist acting reasonably would have acted likewise. An independent Pharmacist must establish this test.

B. Causation

It is not just enough to be able to prove that the Pharmacist breached his/her duty of care. You must be able to link that breach with the injury that is being complained of (i.e. a fall due to accidental overdose which caused physical injury or otherwise).  An appropriate expert must confirm this link.

Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.

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