U.K. spends $3.9B on adverse reactions

A necessary evil? The U.K.'s National Health Service is spending around $3.9 billion annually to treat patients for adverse reactions to prescription drugs. Some 6.5 percent of hospital admissions, a think tank report found, were the result of a drug reaction--that's more than 1 million patients per year. And that doesn't include patients whose reactions happened when they were already in the hospital.

Now, the center-left Compass think tank that came up with these figures admits that not all of the expense could be eliminated. Some drug reactions will happen even if all risks are admitted and publicized. But, said investiator Zoe Gannon, "It is all about getting a balance betwen risk and benefit and we feel that the balance is wrong."

- see the Guardian's article