Oliver Thorne, settles claim against Devon GP over client's Oxycodone addiction

The claim involved Mr E, who, in 1996 was prescribed Solpadol, a codeine based opiate drug, for longstanding pain that he was experiencing in his shoulder.  By 2000 Mr E had developed a dependency towards Solpadol.  In May 2002 Mr E contacted his GP and emphasised his reliance on Solpadol and by 2006 started experiencing severe headaches.  

In January 2007 Mr E attended his GP to see whether there was anything else which might help his chronic pain and to withdraw from the Solpadol.  His GP prescribed oxycodone, a strong opiate drug, despite his current addiction to opiate based medication. Shortly after taking the oxycodone Mr E started experiencing severe bouts of vomiting which lasted for days at a time.  During these periods of vomiting he was unable to keep his oxycodone down. It was clear that Mr E had developed an addiction to the drug but was unable to withdraw from the drug as this process made his symptoms worse. 

During 2008 and 2009 Mr & Mrs E tried to obtain help from their GP and local NHS Trust in weaning Mr E off the oxycodone however their attempts were fruitless. There was little or no assistance in the local community in withdrawing patients off prescription drugs. Eventually, at the beginning of 2010, Mr E was admitted to his local Hospital to undergo an opiate detoxification programme.  He was discharged 2 weeks later where he completed the programme at home. The effects of Mr E's opiate addiction have been devastating to both him personally and his family.   

The claim was progressed on the basis that Mr E should have been prescribed an alternate medication to an addictive opiate. Following a lengthy battle with the GP's lawyers a settlement was agreed and Mr E received £50,000, plus his reasonable costs.

Michelmores Medical Negligence SolicitorsIf you or someone you know has concerns about the treatment they have received by a member of the medical profession we would encourage you to speak to one of our specialist medical negligence lawyers for further advice.