Views & Reviews Drug Tales and Other Stories

Death of the silent witness: patients’ reporting of adverse drug reactions

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4042 (Published 29 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4042
  1. Ike Iheanacho, editor, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin
  1. iiheanacho{at}bmjgroup.com

There’s been no wrongdoing, just a nasty accident, with the injured party being the only observer at the scene. Someone else is involved, of course—the unwitting initiator of the whole sorry business. Boasting extensive analytical skills, this professional is well placed, you’d think, to offer the relevant authorities key information about what’s gone wrong.

But through guilt, fear, indifference, or embarrassment, he’s saying nothing, declining to report what’s happened even when the hurt person turns up to complain. Still, there’s always that latter individual’s testimony: surely that will …

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