Sharp Rise in Prescription Drug Side Effects, Deaths
A new study finds a sharp rise in the number of harmful side effects and deaths associated with prescription drug use in recent years. In the September 10, 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers reported that incidents of serious side effects and negative reactions to medication increased from 34,966 to 89,842 between the years 1998 to 2005, and fatal adverse recations to prescription drugs rose from 5,519 to 15,107 during the same span. The study concludes that the statistics "illustrate the need for improved systems to manage the risks of prescription drugs." The study examined "serious adverse drug events" -- including deaths, hospitalizations, and birth defects --reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1998 to 2005.