What Are The Most Common Claims Arising Under A Pharmacy Insurance Policy?

Caeva O'Callaghan | November 1st, 2023

Pharmacies come with a unique set of risks – but what’s the most common claim made against pharmacy insurance?

Without question, dispensing drugs incorrectly – either the wrong drug or the incorrect dosage – is the most common claim on pharmacy insurance.

This is why it is so important to have adequate professional indemnity cover in place. Professional indemnity covers you as a pharmacist against this type of risk.

In this article, we’ll go over the following questions:

  • What is professional indemnity insurance?
  • Does professional indemnity cover legal expenses?
  • What should I do if an employee of mine gives out the wrong medicine?

It is illegal to operate a pharmacy without professional indemnity insurance. It’s vital you have this essential coverage in place before you open.

What is professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity is the cover that springs into action if you or one of your pharmacists accidentally dispenses the wrong medication or the wrong dose and a customer takes an action against you.

As a pharmacist, you need to be aware that your standard pharmacy insurance policy will not automatically cover professional indemnity. In fact, most retail policies specifically exclude dispensing risk, as pharmacies are the only type of business that needs this kind of specialist cover. Having a separate professional indemnity policy covers this gap and makes sure you’re operating safely.

If you do not have the right professional indemnity insurance, and you’re caught dispensing medication, you could lose your business and a lot more.

Professional indemnity is probably the most important insurance policy pharmacists can have, as it covers you, your pharmacists and your locums against giving bad advice, failure to give advice and dispensing errors.

Does professional indemnity cover legal expenses?

Yes. Cover under the products section as well as professional indemnity section of your policy includes your defense costs as well as compensation for the injured party.

As a pharmacist, you owe a duty of care to your customers. The standard of duty of care is the provision of “reasonable skill and care”. If a pharmacist falls below this standard and causes a loss, they may be viewed as being negligent. This applies to you and your employees.

It’s possible to purchase extra legal expenses cover, which will protect you for legal costs as a result of an action brought against you by an individual or institution which is not covered by your professional indemnity insurance. An example would be an unfair dismissal claim or appeal against a suspension by a statutory body. This could be considered a ‘business’ as opposed to professional risk.

What should I do if an employee of mine gives out the wrong medicine?

It is up to you how you run your business, but a pharmacist dispensing the wrong medicine, dosage, or giving out unsound medical advice is a very serious problem. In the worst case, it may even lead to loss of life.

If someone makes a claim against your pharmacy accusing you and your employees of this misconduct, you could lose your business and face serious legal repercussions.

The best cure is always prevention. Make sure you stay up to date on current legislature regarding medicines and ensure that your staff are properly trained on what they can dispense and what they cannot. Always ensure your staff has the support they need to do their job well. They should be well-rested, calm, and focused at all times.

When buying medicine from pharmacies, patients expect to be provided with high-quality, relevant information in a manner they can easily understand. When an OTC medicine is supplied, you must always provide sufficient advice to ensure the safe and effective use of the medicine, and you should always check the medicine and the dosage is appropriate.

Wondering about pharmacy insurance? Give us a call, and we can help find the right pharmacy insurance policy for your business.





All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.