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
Karch FE, Wardell W. Drug Reaction Deaths. JAMA. 1974;230(9):1254. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240090014004
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