Intended for healthcare professionals


Anticoagulants cause the most serious adverse events, finds US analysis

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 07 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3989
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

A report by a watchdog group has concluded that prescribed medicines are “one of the most significant perils to human health resulting from human activity.” The group based their conclusion on their analysis of the US Food and Drug Administration’s database of serious adverse events.

The report was published on 31 May in QuarterWatch, a publication of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a non-profit organisation dedicated to “medication error prevention and safe medication use” based in Horsham, Pennsylvania.1 It calculated that in 2011 prescription drugs were associated with two to four million people in the US experiencing “serious, disabling, or fatal injuries,” including 128 000 deaths.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48% of the …

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