Home > 143 medicine-related deaths last year.

[irishhealth.com] , Hunter, Niall 143 medicine-related deaths last year. (26 Jun 2014)

A total of 143 deaths were associated with drug treatments last year, according to the State regulatory body, the Irish Medicines Board.

The IMB's latest annual report says it received 2,835 valid new adverse drug reaction reports in 2013, and 143 patients were reported to have died while on drug treatments.

The report points out that in many of these cases, the patients concerned had significant underlying illnesses and would have been treated with multiple medicines and/or surgery, which may also have contributed to the deaths.

In addition, the IMB says, many of these fatalities would have been influenced by disease progression or other complications in relation to the medicine concerned. Other factors included that the drugs may have been used in the management of severe underlying medical conditions.

The medicine associated with the highest number of fatal outcomes was a schizophrenia drug, clozapine, which was linked to 14 reports of fatal outcomes. Next on the list was denosumab, used for a range of bone conditions including osteoporosis, myeloma and treatment-induced bone loss. This was linked to nine deaths.

Of the 2,835 adverse drug reactions reported to the IMB last year, the highest amount, 503, were associated with monoclonal antibodies, which are used to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious conditions.

The next highest was 234 reactions associated with vaccines used in the primary immunisation programme, followed by 214 reactions associated with the schizophrenia drug clozapine.

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