Clear prescription drug labels that present risks and benefits
Hi folks, me again; no, I'm not dead yet!
Anyway, lest it get lost, this NYT Prescriptions blog describes an effort - now in Congress - to introduce charts (drug fact boxes) to drug labeling that present clinical benefit and side effects, side by side, in the form of understandable absolute risks. Seems so simple, but this information usually gets buried in drug-approval applications and doesn't make it into the labeling at all. And all you hear or read in direct-to=consumer drug advertising is rapid-fire or small-print, nonquantitative laundry lists of symptoms that have reported in drug studies, with no indication of whether such symptoms even differed between test and control groups, and they generally carry a legalistic, "FDA made us say this" tone. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) drafted the legislation.