• 31Jul

    How does society judge the risk and benefits of medicines?

    The Academy of Medical Sciences is seeking views on how society judges the risks and benefits of medicinal products.

    The evidence underlying decisions about treatment options has recently come into question in both the general and scientific media (for example the use of statins and Tamiflu).

    The validity of the different ways of collecting and analysing evidence has been part of this debate, as have issues such as over-medicalisation (or the reliance on prescribing drugs over lifestyle changes) and conflicts of interest in the way that evidence collection is funded and/or analysed.

    To explore these issues further, the Academy of Medical Sciences is launching a new project to examine how society judges the risks and benefits of medicinal products. The workstream will consider elements relating to:

    • The strengths and limitations of different sources of evidence used to evaluate the risks and benefits of medicinal products.
    • The ways in which conflicts of interest impact on the validity (or perception of validity) of evidence.
    • The communication of evidence to support informed decision-making.
    • The perceptions and perspectives of society on scientific evidence.

    The remit of this project requires expertise from outside of the Academy and they have launched a call for evidence as part of the process of gathering external input.

    You can read more about the call for evidence and how you can contribute here.