Developing a national drug research agenda presents several challenges, such as the need to use diverse methods to support the process of defining research priorities, considering the existing problems, the populations affected, the conceptualizations that the different actors have regarding the problems to be addressed and the resources available to carry out the plan. The establishment of research priorities is essential to improve drug policies, especially if legal and gender perspectives are incorporated into the definition of drug problems. Effective coordination and avoidance of duplication of efforts optimizes resources and ensures that studies are relevant and effective. However, there are often gaps between research and policy, attributable to weaknesses in communication and a lack of connection between disciplines in drug policy.
By determining research priorities, it is possible to overcome these gaps and ensure that scientific findings are used effectively to inform and improve drug policy. Well-coordinated and focused research in priority areas contributes significantly to stronger and more efficient drug policies by enabling the integration of relevant scientific results into decision making.