An article presenting novel methods for quantitative benefit-risk assessment is now published online ahead of print in Medical Decision Making. We describe how qualitative statements that relate the utilities of clinical outcomes to each other can be incorporated into a fully quantitative framework of probabilistic decision analysis. This allows for a relatively cheap and fast benefit-risk assessment methodology, apt to scenarios where a drug safety issue is emerging, or reliable numerical utility data are unavailable. We present the analyses of three different case studies, from which we conclude first that our methodology is overall concordant with a standard alternative that requires more information, although we identified one important and justified discordance; and secondly that widely agreed upon, clinically straightforward qualitative relations can be sufficient to obtain a conclusive result.
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Full reference:Caster O, Norén GN, Ekenberg L, Edwards IR. Quantitative benefit-risk assessment using only qualitative information on utilities. Medical Decision Making, 2012. Published online before print August 30, 2012, doi: 10.1177/0272989X12451338.
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