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February 11, 2007
Accidental Prescription Drug Deaths on the Rise
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that accidental drug poisoning deaths rose 68% between 1999 and 2004. West Virginia had the largest increase in accidental drug deaths.
In an editorial note, the CDC researchers write: "Effective response to increasing fatal drug overdoses requires strengthening regulatory measures to reduce unsafe use of drugs, increasing physician awareness regarding appropriate pharmacologic treatment of pain and psychiatric problems, supporting best practices for treating drug dependence, and potentially modifying prescription drugs to reduce their potential for abuse."
October 18, 2006
700,000 Go to ER Each Year Over Drug Reactions
According to new research, more than 700,000 Americans end up in the emergency room each year due to adverse prescription drug reactions. The most common reasons are accidental overdose and allergic reactions.
Researchers say the number is an underestimation since many adverse reactions go unreported or unrecognized.
"The numbers are quite troubling," said Jim Conway, senior vice president at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The tally underscores that "there is a tremendous number of consumers in the United States taking medication."