Bad Reactions To Drugs Cost NHS Dearly

Adverse Reaction To Drugs

03.04.2008

Nearly £2bn is spent on treating patients each year following adverse reactions to drugs that they were prescribed by doctors.

The figures, from the thinktank Compass, demonstrate that the money spent on these patients could pay for 10,000 new midwives or easily cover the estimated cost of combating MRSA infections.

It was also confirmed by health minister Dawn Primarolo that 6.5% of admissions to hospital resulted from adverse reactions. In 2006 this amounted to over one million people.

Each patients visit was estimated at eight days by compass and each day costed at £228 but the sum does not include those who reacted badly to medicine given to them while they were in hospital.

The investigation into the pharmaceutical industry, led by Zoe Cannon, reveals figures that are considerably higher than previous estimates. She also believes that it highlights that "the lack of effective regulation is costing the taxpayer."

Ms Cannon went onto say that scandals over drugs such as Vioxx, an arthritis painkiller, suggest that the industry could do more. She said: "The industry knew about these adverse drug reactions and chose not to accept the responsibility because its ultimate goal is to make a profit."

According to Compass drug companies currently enjoy profit margins in excess of 14.3% despite the decrease in innovative medicines being developed.

Following the investigation, Compass will call for a review of progress since the 2005 report of the health select committee.

Andrew Tucker Head of Product Liability at Irwin Mitchell said "The NHS is one of the largest customers for Pharmaceutical companies due to its large scale purchase of drugs for UK citizens. It must not also become a victim financially when things go wrong by having to pick up the costs when profit is put before safety."

"In the case of Vioxx we are currently fighting to achieve compensation payments for those Britons affected by this drug and who have had to rely on NHS treatment for the serious injury we believe was caused by Vioxx. No compensation has been paid to enable our clients to have the care they need, and replace what they have lost, despite the Pharmaceutical firm that made the drug making extensive profits from its sale in this country."

Our expert medical negligence lawyers will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you have been injured or fallen ill as a result of faulty or defective medical products or medicines. See our Defective Medical Products Drugs Or Medicines Claims page for more information.