Risks of future drugs: A Danish expert Delphi

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This study adopts the prospective perspective in an attempt to explore and define the risks of future drugs. The use of the Delphi method in this study is substantiated by its psychological, financial, and (in the case of the pharmaceutical field) relevant advantages. This study is one of the first Delphi studies to fully utilize Internet (also referred to as the worldwide web [www]) html technology to collect and process data. The two rounds of questionnaires seek both qualitative and quantitative data through Likert-scale questions with mandatory open-ended questions for argumentation. Thirty (round 1) and 22 (round 2) top-level experts drawn from all of the pharmaceutical research and development organizations in Denmark participated. This study concludes that risks of future drugs expand and develop beyond our existing assessment and perception mechanisms. They have the ability to transform side effects from the traditional individual physical level to a societal level with economic, political, and ethical consequences. The study identifies several serious bottlenecks in drug discovery and development in the future; paradigm conflicts and, more important, the assessment of risks associated with future drugs need new and alternative methods and assessment procedures. This is essential in order to capture and cope with the unseen and new side effects that the emergence of the "informational paradigm" within the field of drugs will undoubtedly bring about.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)273-289
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

ID: 228774955