Pharmaceutical Benefit–Risk Communication Tools: A Review of the Literature

D. Way, Hortense Blazsin, R.E. Löfstedt, Fredric Bouder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper reviews the main tools for communicating benefit-risk medicines information to patients that are used, or could be used, by pharmaceutical regulators. One highly successful tool from the food safety sector (front-of-package traffic-light labelling) and the mental models approach (which provides a framework for developing new tools) are also reviewed as they show great promise for being usefully adapted to the pharmaceutical context. The evolution of benefit-risk medicines communication is first contextualised within the broader risk communication literature. Three distinct goals are then made explicit before critically examining the evidence for and against tools developed in the US (e.g. at the Food and Drug Administration [FDA]) and Europe (e.g. at the European Medicines Agency [EMA]). These goals are (i) sharing information (e.g. publishing clinical trial and adverse event data online); (ii) changing patients' beliefs by conveying factual knowledge (e.g. patient information leaflets and the drugs facts box); and (iii) changing behaviour (e.g. patient alert cards and warning labels). The mental models approach and traffic-light labelling, developed outside the pharmaceutical context, are then examined. Ultimately, the paper provides a helicopter view of the variety of benefit-risk communication tools that are used, or could be used, by pharmaceutical regulators in the US and Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-36
Number of pages22
JournalDrug Safety
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Keywords

  • CLINICAL-TRIAL REGISTRATION
  • CONSUMER
  • FACTS BOX
  • FOOD
  • MEDICATION GUIDES
  • MEDICINES EVALUATION AGENCY
  • MENTAL MODELS
  • PRESCRIPTION DRUG INFORMATION
  • RANDOMIZED-TRIAL
  • SPONSORED TRIALS

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