Bayesian estimation in veterinary pharmacology: A conceptual and practical introduction

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Sophisticated mathematical and computational tools have become widespread and important in veterinary pharmacology. Although the theoretical basis and practical applications of these have been widely explored in the literature, statistical inference in the context of these models has received less attention. Optimization methods, often with frequentist statistical inference, have been predominant. In contrast, Bayesian statistics have not been widely applied, but offer both practical utility and arguably greater interpretability. Veterinary pharmacology applications are generally well supported by relevant prior information, from either existing substantive knowledge, or an understanding of study and model design. This facilitates practical implementation of Bayesian analyses that can take advantage of this knowledge. This essay will explore the specification of Bayesian models relevant to veterinary pharmacology, including demonstration of prior selection, and illustrate the capability of these models to generate practically useful statistics, including uncertainty statements, that are difficult or impossible to obtain otherwise. Case studies using simulated data will describe applications in clinical trials, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics, all including multilevel modeling. This content may serve as a suitable starting point for researchers in veterinary pharmacology and related disciplines considering Bayesian estimation for their applied work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2024


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