In the past two decades, the potential association between the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior and the clinical use of pharmaceutical products has been debated among industry, regulators, and academia. A better understanding of the possible effects-favorable, unfavorable, or neutral-of pharmaceuticals on the risk of suicidal ideation and behavior may be required, especially for trials typically designed for other primary objectives. Here, a cross-industry statistical team provides recommendations that address the assessment, statistical analysis, interpretation, and utility of suicide-related data in pharmaceutical clinical trials. These recommendations are to evaluate suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior, and the two combined as end points; utilize standard scales to collect data prospectively; and analyze the data using several statistical methods. A more accurate assessment of the potential association between the use of pharmaceutical products and risk of suicide-related events will contribute to estimating the benefit/risk ratio and result in safer medicines for patients.
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