Beyond Needles And Pills

Drug reactions kill tens of thousands of patients each year. Part of the problem is how the medicine is being delivered

The numbers are staggering. Each year as many as 15% of all U.S. hospital admissions, some 100,000 deaths and $136 billion in medical costs result from harmful reactions to drugs. But relief is on the way. All too aware of the toll on the nation's health and pocketbook, medical researchers are devising a host of safer and more effective drug-delivery systems, many of them also designed to overcome the pain and inconvenience of traditional remedies. They range from such low-tech items as anal suppositories to innerspace-age microcraft reminiscent of the tiny ship that carried Raquel Welch through a patient's blood vessels...

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