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Three methods for integration of environmental risk into the benefit-risk assessment of veterinary medicinal products

Journal article
Authors J. L. Chapman
L. Porsch
R. Vidaurre
Thomas Backhaus
C. Sinclair
G. Jones
A. B. A. Boxall
Published in Science of the Total Environment
Volume 605-606
Pages 692-701
ISSN 0048-9697
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 692-701
Language en
Keywords Benefit-risk assessment, Decision support, Environmental risk, Product authorization, Veterinary medicinal products, Environmental engineering, Pollution, Comparative evaluations, Decision supports, Environmental risks, Integrated decision makings, Policy development, Therapeutic benefits, Risk assessment, Animalia
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) require, as part of the European Union (EU) authorization process, consideration of both risks and benefits. Uses of VMPs have multiple risks (e.g., risks to the animal being treated, to the person administering the VMP) including risks to the environment. Environmental risks are not directly comparable to therapeutic benefits; there is no standardized approach to compare both environmental risks and therapeutic benefits. We have developed three methods for communicating and comparing therapeutic benefits and environmental risks for the benefit-risk assessment that supports the EU authorization process. Two of these methods support independent product evaluation (i.e., a summative classification and a visual scoring matrix classification); the other supports a comparative evaluation between alternative products (i.e., a comparative classification). The methods and the challenges to implementing a benefit-risk assessment including environmental risk are presented herein; how these concepts would work in current policy is discussed. Adaptability to scientific and policy development is considered. This work is an initial step in the development of a standardized methodology for integrated decision-making for VMPs. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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