Promise & Peril: Dissemination of Findings from Studies of Drugs Used in Pregnancy

< Back to All Resources

When and how to publish birth defects research can be complex, especially in the context of drugs used in pregnancy. Such research frequently involves multiple stakeholders, including regulatory agencies. Researchers must balance the potential peril of an unnecessarily panicked populace versus the benefit of protecting the public's health. We use a case presentation and contemporary literature to highlight the potential tradeoffs that researchers must consider. We highlight important considerations including the public health impact, examining the likelihood of causality, understanding common considerations when using large data sources, the role of peer review and working in partnership with regulatory agencies. We suggest that plans for analyses, dissemination and risk communication are done best a priori and not post hoc. Rigorous research evaluating the impact of drugs used in pregnancy, coupled with effective dissemination strategies, has the potential improve outcomes for mothers and their infants for generations.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
  • Medical Care