This memorandum provides a brief description of the use of scientific evidence within drug policy and reaches some conclusions about how this can be improved.
We conclude that:
- There is a strong case for a substantive increase in the proportion of investment in research and evaluation.
- New systems should be adopted for the coordination and delivery of research and evaluation, and to promote use of the findings.
- There should be an independent evaluation of the UK Drug Strategy which considers its impact, including any unintended consequences and cost effectiveness.
- There should be a stronger emphasis on sustained deliberative engagement with the public to help reconcile policy, evidence and public opinion.
- Options for placing the Advisory Council on a stronger footing, with enhanced resources and capacity, should be considered.