Drug-related deaths increase in UK


London: Prescription drugs kill nearly 20 people a week in the UK. And deaths linked to reactions to medication given by the country’s National Health Service have nearly doubled in the last five years to more than 1,000.

In total, around 20,000 patients suffered a range of side effects from prescription drugs. But experts believe the numbers reported by medical professionals may be far worse. This is because the reporting system, of flagging up suspisions in voluntary.

The latest statistics show the number of patient deaths linked to prescription medicines rose from 648 in 2001, to 1,013 last year – the first time it has exceeded 1,000.

The total number of adverse drug reactions reported by doctors fluctuated between 21,460 and 17,500 over the same five-year period. But the number of deaths rose consistently each year.