Pharmaceutical injuries: the fourth leading cause of death in the United States
According to the American Medical Association, pharmaceutical injuries -- or adverse reactions to prescription drugs -- are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. While this figure is staggering, it fails to include the deaths and injuries resulting from drug abuse or prescription errors. The AMA states that reactions to prescription and over-the-counter medications, "kill far more people annually than all illegal drug use combined."
In recent years, the scrutiny over the pharmaceutical industry and U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been especially high. This is due, in part, to major drug and medical device recalls nationwide. Several FDA agency whistleblowers and respected medical professionals have spoken out about dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and dodgy industry practices. These recent developments highlight the failures of a system designed to ensure consumers receive safe and effective pharmaceutical products. Tragically, these failures have contributed to thousands of consumer pharmaceutical injuries.