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December 2, 1974

Drug Reaction Deaths

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY

JAMA. 1974;230(9):1254. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240090014004

To the Editor.—  In their recent letter published in The Journal, Talley and Laventurier (229:1043, 1974) claimed that a report from Israel1 confirmed an earlier article from the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program (BCDSP) (216:467, 1971) that reported deaths due to adverse drug reactions in 0.44% of hospitalized medical ward patients. Stetler, replying to the Talley and Laventurier letter in the same issue, pointed out that the 0.44% statistic was simply a restatement by the Israeli authors of the BCDSP's original figure.However, the results actually reported in the Israeli article were that "no drug-induced deaths were observed among the monitored patients in Israel" (p 622). Thus, the report from Israel can in no sense be regarded as supporting the use of the 0.44% mortality statistic and, in fact, contradicts it.In an area as important as the problem of adverse drug reactions, it is unfortunate when the limited