Starting or Strengthening a Drug Bulletin - A Practical Manual
(2005; 165 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentHow the manual was produced
View the documentAbout ISDB
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Rational use of medicines
Open this folder and view contents3. What are drug bulletins?
Open this folder and view contents4. Defining aims, target and type of bulletin
Open this folder and view contents5. Planning resources
Open this folder and view contents6. Planning bulletin production: schedules and timing
Open this folder and view contents7. The editorial process
Close this folder8. Reviewing a new drug: is it a therapeutic advance?
View the document8.1 Introduction
View the document8.2 When is a new treatment a therapeutic advance?
Open this folder and view contents8.3 Collecting evidence about the drug
Close this folder8.4 Evaluation in terms of efficacy, harm and convenience
View the document8.4.1 Efficacy
View the document8.4.2 Adverse effects/harms
View the document8.4.3 Convenience
Open this folder and view contents8.5 Judging the overall value of the drug
Open this folder and view contents8.6 Cost
View the document8.7 What patients need to know
View the document8.8 References
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexe to Chapter 8: Evaluating harm
Open this folder and view contents9. Design and production
Open this folder and view contents10. Dissemination
Open this folder and view contents11. Organizational and legal issues
Open this folder and view contents12. Evaluating quality and usefulness
Open this folder and view contents13. Partnership and collaboration
Open this folder and view contents14. Keeping records and creating a memory
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix: Electronic sources of information
 

8.4.3 Convenience

A product that is easier to use can have a benefit for patients. For example, smaller tablets, fewer daily doses, oral instead of subcutaneous administration, or shorter treatment duration could increase the likelihood of patients adhering to the treatment regimen. There might be benefits for the health service if a new product is easier to administer (e.g. oral instead of intravenous, thus saving staff time and reducing use of equipment) or safer (e.g. a preparation of a cytotoxic drug that does not need reconstituting before administration). Other aspects to consider are storage requirements (especially in warmer climates), the quality, safety and ease of handling of the packaging, and risk of errors due to similar packaging for different drugs or dosages. For examples of packaging evaluation, see the French bulletin la revue Prescrire and the English language edition, Prescrire International (Prescrire Editorial Staff. Drug packaging quality: neglected by regulatory agencies. Prescrire Int 2005;14(77):114. Also Prescrire Editorial Staff. 2004 Packaging awards. Prescrire Int 2005;14(76):66.), and patient information leaflets (risk of medication errors due to inadequate, non-understandable, non-updated information).

However, bear in mind that easier use may come at a price: fewer daily doses mean long absorption and/or elimination half-life. Consequently in some patients the blood concentration of the drug may increase due to accumulation, and high levels may persist even after the drug is stopped - leading to serious adverse reactions. For example, toxic epidermal necrolysis can be caused by various drugs; seizures can be induced by slow-release theophylline. In general, easier use can be a net disadvantage if the harm/benefit ratio of the medicine for patients increases.

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