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The Use of Human Experience Data in the EU Risk Assessment Process

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The incorporation of human experience data (HD) into the risk assessment process is encouraged by various authorities with the aim of improving the robustness of the subsequent findings. HD, however, can present in many forms, ranging from epidemiological studies to the accumulated experiences from poison centers. This diversity of the human experience, combined with the manner in which it may (or may not) present, creates several challenges for risk assessors if they are to give available HD due weight in the RA process. An evaluation was made of how HD has been cited and used within the 64 human health RAs published by the EU to the end of 2005. In all RAs, HD had been cited to some degree. But there was no consistency between how cited data had subsequently been taken forward and used in the evaluation of different endpoints, either between the RAs authored by the same or different EU Member States. The lack of any accepted guidance for addressing the role that HD can play within the RA process appears to lead to this situation. Recommendations are provided on the scope and focus such guidance could usefully be expected to take.

Keywords: European Union; human data; null findings; risk assessment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2007

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