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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2003 Apr-May;12(3):183-94.

Improving communication of drug risks to prevent patient injury: proceedings of a workshop.

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  • 1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CERTs Center, Durham, NC 27715, USA.



The Centers for Education & Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) is conducting a series of workshops on managing the risks of therapeutics, with the ultimate goal to develop an agenda for research and education about risk and its management. This paper presents the results of the first workshop in the series, a 2-day meeting focused on communication of drug risks to healthcare professionals and patients.


The 50 workshop participants represented the medical-products industry, academia, consumer groups, regulatory bodies and the media. Together, they sought to identify and understand barriers to successful risk communication, to identify tools or methods that could improve risk communication, and to develop research and education agendas that would lead to better risk communication in the future.


Limitations of current methods of risk communication were identified, and research and education agendas were proposed to clarify and resolve these issues.


Common themes for potential solutions include enhanced education of healthcare providers, increased motivation of patients and families, use of creative communication technologies, and better organization of and access to medical records and information.

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