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It’s no secret that the many side effects caused by medicines do not get reported to the Food and Drug Administration, but a new report suggests the magnitude of underreporting is far greater than imagined.

After examining side effects that were conveyed to the regulator for five widely used medicines — two different types of arthritis treatments, an antipsychotic, and a blood thinner — just 1% of an estimated 276,000 serious adverse events had been reported in 2017.

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  • I noted the same arithmetic issue but the factor is 100, not 1,000. That implies 40 million events.

  • The report seems to imply only one of one thousand AE’s are reported. On that basis, the number FDA gives should actually be closer to 4 billion events. Our scribes report of millions seems comfortingly realistic.

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