Lack of information: summary

Last updated: Thursday, December 27, 2018

From time to time you can face situations where you've been asked for advice, but have no published evidence to guide you. Assuming you've looked thoroughly for information and drawn a blank, the general approach below may help to structure your thinking:
  • Theoretical predictions. Are there ways to predict the best medicine to use, or how a given medicine might behave?

  • Ask the experts. You're not alone – who can help you in your hospital, locally, or even nationally?

  • Explore alternatives. If you're faced with a complete lack of information, are there different medicines you could use where there are more data to guide you?


The decision to use any medicine is a balance of potential benefits versus potential risks. You need to remember this, and discuss any proposed solutions with a senior colleague in pharmacy, the consultant, and the patient. In this situation, a lack of information is an important risk and you must be open about it.