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The 2011 Prescrire Awards are announced in Paris

This year's annual Drug Awards, announced on 26 January in Paris, included not a single winner: no "Golden Pill", no new entries to the "Honours List", not even a "Noteworthy" new drug. Prescrire's annual awards for Drug Packaging and Information were also announced.

Every year, Prescrire's Drug Awards showcase the new products that represent tangible progress for patients. Attributed in total independence by Prescrire's Editorial Staff, the Awards reflect the analysis of available data on new products and new indications carried out and published by Prescrire during the preceding year.

A painstaking process allows drugs to be sorted according to the therapeutic advance that they embody. This advance may consist of improved efficacy, less frequent or less severe adverse effects (with similar efficacy), or a treatment that is easier or safer to use.

In 2011, yet again, Prescrire's Drug Awards do not include a winner of the "Pilule d'Or" ("Golden Pill"). What's more, no new drug or new indication of an existing drug was added to the Honours List, or even singled out as "Noteworthy" — a first since the Prescrire Awards were first created in 1981. Yet over these 31 years the selection criteria for the Awards have remained unchanged.

The year 2011 was a disappointing year for patients and for healtcare professionals eager for new drugs that represent a genuine therapeutic advance.

This conclusion points at once to the laxism of the marketing authorisation procedures and to the dysfunction of the incentives for therapeutic progress. Two failings which must be remedied.

This year's awards brought no winners for Drug Packaging either, but plenty of "yellow cards" and "red cards". The annual Information Award highlighted which firms had acted transparently, and which turned down requests for information.

For details, see the online Dossier:

> The 2011 Prescrire Awards

©Prescrire 26 January 2012

"The 2011 Prescrire Awards" Prescrire Int 2012; 21 (125): 78-82. (pdf, free)

See also:

The 2011 Prescrire Awards
(February 2012)

Prescrire Awards
Prescrire Int 2012;
21 (125): 78-82.
Pdf, free

Rules governing the
Prescrire Awards
Pdf in French, free