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Pharmacoepidemiology: CurrentStatus, Prospects, and Problems

Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH; and Peter Tugwell, MD, MSc
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Grant Support: Cooperative agreement FD-U-000079 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, NIH grants R01-HD24316 and R01-HD20531, and funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Requests for Reprints: Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH, 315R NEB, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6095.

Ann Intern Med. 1990;113(3):179-181. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-113-3-179
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Modern medicine is now blessed with drug therapies that are much more powerful than before, enabling us to provide much better medical care but also to do much greater harm. Adverse drug reactions are a major source of morbidity (1) and are potentially preventable. Adverse drug reactions have been reported to cause 3% to 6% of all medical admissions (2) and as many as 160 000 deaths each year (3).

After preclinical animal testing, drugs undergo three phases of clinical testing. Generally, between 500 and 3000 patients are exposed to a drug before marketing, in order to be able to


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