Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2017

Session Schedule & Abstracts

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Common abbreviations

Roundtable: Challenges in Communicating the Results of Public Health Benefit-risk Assessments

Room: Salon 1   8:30 am–10:00 am

Chair(s): Elisabetta Lambertini

Sponsored by Risk Communication Specialty Group

Benefit-risk assessment (BRA), or risk-benefit assessment, is an emerging tool in public health. Regulatory bodies, industry, and consumers are realizing more and more that unilateral focus on only risks or benefits associated with a certain drug, medical procedure, or food product is insufficient, and decisions need to balance adverse and beneficial health effects. However, results from BRAs can be quite complex to communicate to decision makers and the public. For instance, risk and benefit metrics vary in complexity, from incidence of illness to integrated measures such as disability adjusted life years. An intervention may reduce risk in one population but increases it in another. Uncertainty and variability in inputs and outputs are also challenging to communicate. Consumers also tend to perceive risks and benefits differently, which affects how information needs to be conveyed. Communication also plays a key role in the development of BRAs. By their multidisciplinary nature, BRAs bring together a diverse range of experts such as epidemiologists, modelers, toxicologists, microbiologists, and economists who must communicate effectively with risk-benefit managers. The goal of this round table is to bring together BRA professionals from different health disciplines to discuss challenges and strategies to improve the communication of BRA results to the public and decision makers. Panelists will provide a brief overview of their work, difficulties they face in communicating with managers and the public, and lessons learned. The discussion will be summarized in a manuscript that could potentially be submitted to Risk Analysis.

Richard Forshee- FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER)
Maarten Nauta – Food DTU (Technical University of Denmark)
Igor Linkov - U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
William Hallman – Rutgers University

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