Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model Use in Risk Assessment—Why Being Published Is Not Enough

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A panel of experts in physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and relevant quantitative methods was convened to describe and discuss model evaluation criteria, issues, and choices that arise in model application and computational tools for improving model quality for use in human health risk assessments (HHRAs). Although publication of a PBPK model in a peer-reviewed journal is a mark of good science, subsequent evaluation of published models and the supporting computer code is necessary for their consideration for use in HHRAs. Standardized model evaluation criteria and a thorough and efficient review process can reduce the number of review and revision iterations and hence the time needed to prepare a model for application. Efficient and consistent review also allows for rapid identification of needed model modifications to address HHRA-specific issues. This manuscript reports on the workshop where a process and criteria that were created for PBPK model review were discussed along with other issues related to model review and application in HHRA. Other issues include (1) model code availability, portability, and validity; (2) probabilistic (e.g., population-based) PBPK models and critical choices in parameter values to fully characterize population variability; and (3) approaches to integrating PBPK model outputs with other HHRA tools, including benchmark dose modeling. Two specific case study examples are provided to illustrate challenges that were encountered during the review and application process. By considering the frequent challenges encountered in the review and application of PBPK models during the model development phase, scientists may be better able to prepare their models for use in HHRAs.

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