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The Prescrire Awards for 2013

The 2013 Prescrire Awards: a yearly round-up from the editors of independent French journal Prescrire

The Prescrire Drug Awards for 2013

Products evaluated during the previous year in the New Products section of our French edition are eligible for the Prescrire Awards for new drugs and indications (in 2013: issues 351 to 362).

See also Prescrire's annual review of new drugs:
L'année du médicament : peu de progrès en 2013,
quelques mesures positives

Rev Prescrire 2014 ; 34 (364) : 132-136.
> Pdf (in French), free

Prescrire's "Pilule d'Or" ("Golden Pill") was not awarded for 2013. It is granted to drugs that provide a major therapeutic advance for patients and healthcare professionals in a field in which no treatment was previously available.
No drugs were added to the "Honours List" for 2013. The List recognises drugs which provide a clear advantage for some patients in comparison to existing therapeutic options, albeit with certain limitations.
Drug providing a modest improvement in patient care.
meningococcal conjugate vaccine against serogroups A,C,W135,Y
for IM injection
active immunisation of infants aged 1 to 2 years against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W135, Y
(Prescrire Int n° 144)

About the 2013 Prescrire Drug Awards
Each month, the Prescrire Editorial Staff presents systematic and comparative analyses of available data on all newly approved drugs in France, and on new therapeutic indications granted for existing drugs. The goal is to help the reader distinguish, among the plethora of lavishly promoted commercial products, those medications worth adding to their drug list or worth using instead of existing products, as well as products to be avoided.

This evaluation is based on rigorous procedures that include a thorough literature search, a large panel of reviewers (specific to each project) and a quality control system to verify that the text is consistent with the data in the references. Full details > HERE

Total independence
This work is carried out by the Editorial Staff in total independence. Prescrire is financed exclusively by subscribers. Neither the French nor the English edition carries any paid advertising, nor do we receive grants or subsidies of any kind (see our annual financial report in the March issues of Prescrire and the June issues of Prescrire International). At the end of each year, the Prescrire Drug Awards are based on the review articles published that year in the French edition, and take into account any new data available since the initial articles were published.

> Click here to download the rules governing the Prescrire Awards (pdf, in French)

"Therapeutic advance" is defined as better efficacy, fewer or less severe adverse effects (for similar efficacy), or safer or more convenient administration.

2013: only one product providing modest progress
Once again, the Golden Pill award was not granted this year. In addition, no new drug or new indication for an existing drug was deemed worthy of inclusion on the Honours List in 2013.

A new vaccine that helps to protect certain infants was deemed "Noteworthy".

For children aged from one to two years who require protection against meningococcal infections caused by serogroups A, C, W135 and Y before travelling to an endemic area, existing unconjugated polyoside vaccines were poorly immunogenic. A tetravalent polyoside vaccine conjugated to tetanus toxoid (Nimenrix°) has documented immunogenicity and is the only vaccine authorised for this age group in the European Union. Its adverse effects are moderate, although it is less well tolerated than unconjugated vaccines. Another tetravalent conjugated vaccine is already available for children over two years of age.

Still awaiting real progress
Once again, new drugs and indications authorised in 2013 provided no major therapeutic progress.

We need to improve the care of patients by integrating results of new evaluation or pharmacovigilance data into clinical practice. Rejecting drugs that have more adverse effects than benefits could be a source of tremendous progress for patients. For real improvements to be made, all healthcare professionals need to do their share.

©Prescrire February 2014

"The 2013 Prescrire Awards" Prescrire Int 2014; 23 (147): 79-83. Pdf, free