Reports Of Serious Drug Reactions Hit Record

WASHINGTON (AP) - A health industry watchdog group reports that a record number of serious problems and deaths linked to medications were reported to the government in the first three months of this year.

An analysis of federal data by the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices shows that the Food and Drug Administration received nearly 21,000 reports of serious drug reactions, including over 4,800 deaths. The group analyzed quarterly data going back to 2004, and yearly totals dating to the 1990s.

Two drugs accounted for a disproportionately large share of the reports early this year. One was Pfizer's anti-smoking medication, Chantix, and the other was heparin, the tainted blood thinner from China that caused a safety scandal.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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