Findings by investigators in Sweden and Norway suggest that adverse drug reactions cause approximately 3% of all deaths in the general population (Wester K et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;65:573-579).
The researchers identified every seventh randomly selected death in 3 counties in southeast Sweden in 2001 and reviewed medical records to identify suspected drug-related fatalities. They found that 49 of 1574 deceased persons (3.1%) in the study were suspected to have died of an adverse drug reaction.
Stephenson J. Adverse Drug Reactions. JAMA. 2008;299(15):1764. doi:10.1001/jama.299.15.1764-c