Recent studies of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neuropsychiatric drug developments raise questions
whether failures of some drugs occur due to flaws in methods. In three case studies of recent AD drug development failures
with phenserine, metrifonate, and tarenflurbil we identified methodological lapses able to account for the failures. Errors
in complex systems such as drug developments are both almost inescapable due to human mistakes and most frequently
hidden at the time of occurrence and thereafter. We propose preemptive error management as a preventive strategy
to exclude or control error intrusions into neuropsychiatric drug developments. We illustrate the functions we anticipate
for a preemptive error management preventive strategy with a checklist and identify the limitations of this aspect of
the proposal with three drug examples. This strategy applies core scientific practices to insure the quality of data within
the current context of AD drug development practices.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer clinical trial, error management, checklist, tarenflurabil, metrifonate, phenserine.
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