The ORCHESTRA online questionnaire on " benefits and barriers to the use of QSAR methods" addressed the academic, consultant, regulatory and industry communities potentially interested by QSAR methods in the context of REACH. Replies from more than 60 stakeholders produced some insights on the actual application of QSAR methods, and how to improve their use.Respondents state in majority that they have used QSAR methods. All have some future plans to test or use QSAR methods in accordance with their stakeholder role.The stakeholder respondents cited a total of 28 models, methods or software that they have actually applied. The three most frequently cited suites, used moreover by all the stakeholder categories, are the OECD Toolbox, EPISuite and CAESAR; all are free tools.Results suggest that stereotyped assumptions about the barriers to application of QSAR may be incorrect. Economic costs (including potential delays) are not found to be a major barrier. And only one respondent " prefers" traditional, well-known and accepted toxicological assessment methods.Information and guidance may be the keys to reinforcing use of QSAR models. Regulators appear most interested in obtaining clear explanation of the basis of the models, to provide a solid basis for decisions. Scientists appear most interested in the exploration of the scientific capabilities of the QSAR approach. Industry shows interest in obtaining reassurance that appropriate uses of QSAR will be accepted by regulators.
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