Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients: A Critique of a Meta-analysis

Authors: Kvasz, M; Allen, IE; Gordon, MJ; Ro, EY; Estok, R; Olkin, I; Ross, SD.

A published meta-analysis of the incidence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in hospitalized patients concluded that ADRs rank as the fourth to sixth leading cause of death in the United States. This conclusion generated considerable concern among health care providers, patients, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. To better understand the evidence behind this conclusion, a critical review of the source studies and the meta-analytic methods used to combine them was conducted. Findings suggest that the conclusions of the meta-analysis are invalid.

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