If basic information about the benefits and harms of prescription drugs were displayed as clearly and prominently as food and beverage information in the nutrition label, would consumers make different decisions about which drugs are right for them? Unfortunately the information consumers encounter direct-to-consumer drug advertisements and package inserts is confusing, hard to read, and incomplete. In response, Steve Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz, physician-researchers at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, have developed Drug Facts Boxes one-page, standardized tables that, like the nutrition label, clearly summarize drug benefits and harms. The boxes aim to help patients make informed decisions about drugs including when not to take them.
Woloshin and Schwartz see Drug Facts Boxes as part of the revolution in patient empowerment. "Medications have benefits, but they also have harms. People need to be clear about the tradeoffs," Woloshin says. "The information consumers get nowadays often leads them to assume that benefits are bigger than they really are. How can you decide if a drug is worth taking unless you know the likely benefits and harms? It
Amount Awarded $644,290.00
Awarded on: 7/30/2008
Time frame: 8/1/2008 - 2/28/2012
Grant Number: 63533
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