Deaths: Vitamins 0, Drugs 197,000

Time to redress some of the shockingly untruthful and misleading media reports about the safety of vitamins now. According to a piece in FoodsMatter, there have been no deaths attributed to vitamins in the US in the last 27 years.

Compare that to a piece recently in the New Scientist about the deaths from medicines which shows 197,000 deaths PER YEAR in the EU:

New Scientist 18.6.11 “DO WE NEED CITIZEN MEDICINE?” by Janet Krska & Tony Avery.

Janet is Prof. of Pharmacy Practice at Liverpool John Moores Uni and Tony is a GP & Prof. of primary health at Nottingham University.

“Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to prescription medicine costs billions to treat and kill over a million people globally, yet professionals are unwilling to listen to the real experts – patients.

A paper from the Royal Society of Medicine journal shows 557,978 ADR-associated admissions to hospital.  These are up by 76.8% over the decade from 1999-2008.   The European Commission estimate ADRs kill 197,000 EU citizens annually at a cost of 79 billion euros.   A ‘Lancet’ letter from top researchers and doctors states ADRs have reached epidemic proportions, increasing at twice the rate of prescriptions.  It’s estimated 90% of ADRs are not reported by doctors. 

Only 8.5% of 2000 people questioned had heard of the Yellow Card Scheme where patients can report their suspected ADRs by post, phone or internet, without telling a doctor.  The two professors would like to know what the results would be if there was a prominent publicity campaign to tell the public of the existence of the Yellow Card Scheme.  Some pharmacists have Yellow Cards.”  






Undoubtedly, some medicines are needed and life-saving. But so are most vitamins and minerals. What do you think you are made of? I wish we had a much more collaborative approach where we could get the benefit to all citizens of BOTH medical approaches. It’s not too much to ask, is it?




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