Tuesday, October 27, 2009

benefit and risk of drugs

Since a physician is trained to recognize and understand the clinical data regarding a drug's benefits and risks, it is the physician who is better qualified to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

I totally agree with Sonit. If patients were allowed to make this assessment for themselves what would be the point in the prescription system?

Associate Professor at McGill University Health Centre
It is a little bit more difficult than that. Who does decide? I would say that each step that a drug has to go through to reach the patient has its own decider. During the drug development it is the company that decides that pursuing the development might be worth it, and ultimately the regulatory institution (i.e., FDA) that will say yes or no. Finally the physician will decide whether or not the risk is worth the prescription considering the potential benefit but at the end of the day, the patient, with his/her own perception of what benefit and risk are, will decide to comply to the prescription or not. And for the same physician and the same patients, the preception will also vary depending on the disease that is being addressed. Now, who is right and who is wrong, I leave it to the philosophers...

Thank you Laurent, for bringing all this info with which I agree
I would like to add that in practice, patients as less standardized that in clinical trials where they are selected based on specific criterias.Justify Full

Facing somehow different profiles in real practice, Company medical department is involved, then the physician, than the patient who may have the choices between different treatment options based on a clear information, eventually helped by a person in case of need (translator, parents, wife/husband, etc..)

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