Having sound evidence about a drug’s safety and effectiveness is critical to understanding its benefits and value. In recent years, shifts in the pharmaceutical evidence base have created challenges for evaluating drugs after they come to market.

This brief describes how pharmaceutical evidence is generated, how the drug approval process has evolved over the years, and the resulting implications for patients and the broader health care system.

This paper:
• Describes the stages of pharmaceutical research
• Explains how evidence about pharmaceuticals is collected
• Proposes sevearl ways to strengthen the pharmaceutical evidence base

Full paper: Drug policy 101: The state of the pharmaceutical evidence base

Other papers in this series: