Reinerio A. Deza, MD, Head Global Pharmacovigilance, Cubist Pharmaceuticals spoke at the World Drug Safety Congress Americas last month on Risk Communication. He explained the purpose of risk communication as providing information regarding the positive and negative effects of a product to the intended user.
He then went on to describes the process that takes place from identification through to implementation and communication to the regulatory authorities and the healthcare professionals.
Deza believes the most effective risk communication must be of a high standard but understandable, available to the correct audience providing them with the information to make an informed decision. The information available needs to include the potential effects that could take place, both positive and negative, the likelihood of these taking place and ways to reduce this. Effective risk communication must be scientific, based on fact, transparent and updateable when necessary.
Challenges to effective risk management include not knowing what prior knowledge people have about the product, variations in individuals and competing information from other sources such as media.