How many deaths occur annually from adverse drug reactions in the United States?

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Abstract

PURPOSE: The numbers of deaths attributed to adverse drug reactions by death certificates and by the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) spontaneous postmarketing surveillance system (MedWatch) were compared in order to characterize national mortality statistics. METHODS: Mortality statistics related to adverse drug reactions were obtained from national public-use databases of death certificates based on appropriate International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) codes and from MedWatch during 1995. The number of deaths, frequency distributions of sex and age groups, and rankings of drug categories associated with adverse reactions were compared. RESULTS: During 1995, 206 deaths were attributed to adverse drug reactions on death certificates in the United States, whereas MedWatch tabulated 6,894 fatalities. The proportions of men and women were similar, and the majority of deaths involved persons 60 years of age and older, in both data sets. The rankings of drug categories associated with adverse drug reactions differed in the two data sets. CONCLUSION: The numbers of deaths reported in these data sets varied 34-fold and were up to several 100-fold less than values based on extrapolations of surveillance programs. These differences indicate that better and more comprehensive data are needed to develop appropriate health care policies to improve drug safety. (C) 2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-130
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Volume109
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2000

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Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Death Certificates
International Classification of Diseases
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Sex Distribution
Mortality
United States Food and Drug Administration
Health Policy
Age Groups
Databases
Delivery of Health Care
Safety
Datasets

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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How many deaths occur annually from adverse drug reactions in the United States? / Chyka, Peter.

In: American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 109, No. 2, 01.08.2000, p. 122-130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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