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November 1, 2000

Deficiencies in US Medical Care

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(17):2184-2185. doi:10.1001/jama.284.17.2184

To the Editor: Dr Starfield1 relates the poor quality of US public health to often-quoted statistics about medication errors and other iatrogenic causes of death. The statistics on iatrogenic deaths are extrapolations based on limited reviews of adverse drug reaction forms, and their accuracy is questionable.2 More important, these statistics are used without any reference to the type of patients experiencing these adverse events.