How Well Does a Drug Work? Look Beyond the Fine Print (NPR)

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NPRLisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice have developed a method to help people assess the risks and benefits of drugs before deciding whether to take them, NPR reports.

According to NPR, the two professors “are on a decade-long mission” to get the Federal Drug Administration to get useful, easily understood information about drugs’ risks and benefits to doctors and their patients. Toward this goal, the two have developed a “drug facts box” for providing the pertinent information, NPR reports.

“What we hope is that the box will encourage people to take drugs that are effective and that work, and discourage people from taking drugs that don’t work or are just harmful,” Woloshin tells NPR. “And also that just having this information in front of people will stimulate better drug research, because drug companies realize people are paying attention and looking at these numbers, and then we’d have a better quality of drug trials.”

Woloshin and Schwartz, reports NPR, “have been lobbying the FDA to develop drug facts boxes, but say that seems unlikely. So they started their own company to do it—Informulary.”

Listen to the full story, broadcast 7/25/14 on NPR.