What are your legal rights if you have been treated with faulty drugs?

In early summer 2014 babies at a number of hospitals developed septicaemia or ‘blood poisoning’ and Public Health England found that a contaminated intravenous fluid was the cause.

The manufacturer, ITH Pharma, announced that it had traced the contamination to a ‘sourced’ single raw material, effectively admitting liability (while arguably trying to blame a supplier).

What is the legal position?

Compensation is a minor consideration for parents when a child is dangerously ill, but in cases where faulty drugs are to blame there is scope to claim for injuries and losses when the time is right.

The claim can be brought against the manufacturer under the

Consumer Protection Act 1987 and could include:-

  •  Compensation for pain and suffering caused by the faulty drug;
  •   Money to cover long-term care and therapy where the injuries are permanent or severe;
  •   Parents’ or carers’ loss of earnings and expenses;
  •   The victim’s loss of future life and career opportunities.

In cases such as these, the hospital or prescribing doctor is only responsible if they have been negligent. That is, they could and should have taken reasonable steps to prevent the incident.

Where drugs are involved it is important to discover what happened. Were the right drugs prescribed? Was the dose correct? Were drug allergies overlooked? Was the care up to standard?

In this particular case it would appear on the face of it that the fluid manufacturer is liable for a faulty product.

Have you had a problem?

If you are concerned about the treatment or drugs you or a loved one have received we can help you get to the truth. 

With your permission we can request your medical records and where necessary obtain an expert opinion. We can then advise you on whether we think you have a case and if so, what we can do.

Contact us as soon as you feel able, as this maximises your chances of bringing a successful claim. If you are in the middle of a crisis right now, please accept our best wishes.

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