Have you followed the long and painful efforts to improve the information prescription drug manufacturers are required to provide us? Really, given that almost half of us in the US take at least one prescription medication daily, you’d think this would be a high priority among all those public and private agencies and companies who claim patient-centeredness as their highest priority. But you’d be wrong. Efforts to come up with a consistent approach that provides people with independent, plain-English facts about how well their prescription drugs actually work have been waylaid by competing interests for years, with only modest hope of progress in sight.
You may have been taking a well-deserved vacation from the news on July 4th, when The New York Times published an op-ed that briefly described a solution to this problem that takes a giant step toward clarity developed by Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz at Dartmouth.
Now you have an opportunity to watch Woloshin expand on this solution in a 20-minute talk delivered at the meeting in the Evidence 2010 meeting sponsored by BMJ in the UK last year. In this clip, he provides a quick romp through the history of drug labeling, describes why certain information is important to us and proposes a model for how that information might be presented to support our decisions about prescription medication.