To determine the frequency and the direct costs of adverse drug reactions, in an ambulatory population of the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina and its area of influence. A retrospective study was done during a period of three months on approximately 300.000 residents of the Buenos Aires area, gathering data according to the selected variables by means of the electronic capture of prescriptions dispensed in pharmacies of the area. This method enables the detection and registration of potential conflicts that may arise between a prescribed drug and factors such as: patients demographic, clinical and drug profile. The analysis unit was defined as the happening of a moderate or severe adverse event reported by the system. The selected variables were the incidence of these effects and the direct cost was calculated as the value of the drugs that induced the adverse event. The events were classified according to the following interactions: a) drug- drug, b) drug-pediatrics, c) drug- gender, d) drug- pregnancy and abuse of controlled substances. The observed frequency shows great variability and the shortage of available data for ambulatory populations. We found 6.74% of reported events over the total of processed items, which generated an additional cost equivalent to 4.58% of the total pharmaceutical expenses. This study has only evaluated the cost occured by the use of a drug that will lead to an adverse reaction. Moderate and severe reactions were included regardless of the important indirect costs, hospitalization costs, tests, physician fees, etc.