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March 5, 2003

Medication Safety: Moving From Illusion to Reality

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

JAMA. 2003;289(9):1154-1156. doi:10.1001/jama.289.9.1154

The importance of medication safety has been recognized for many years, but only recently has it reemerged as a major public health issue based on numerous recent studies and high-profile safety events.1 Drug safety dates back to the 1950s, when in response to reports of chloramphenicol-associated aplastic anemia, the American Medical Association established an adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting system and the Food and Drug Administration began requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to report ADRs.1 This effort to detect heretofore unknown, serious adverse effects of medications in postmarket use relied on voluntary reporting, which also became common practice in most health care organizations.