Dealing with adverse reactions to prescribed drugs costs the NHS £1.9bn a year, the pressure group Compass has claimed.

In an answer to a parliamentary question, health minister Dawn Primarolo said hospital admissions due to adverse reactions accounted for 6.5 per cent of all admissions.

Compass has launched an investigation into the role of the pharmaceutical industry and its regulation.

For more information, visit www.compassonline.org.uk