Issue 16:1 (2017) of Pharmaceutical Statistics was deemed to be a special issue on the subject matter of estimands, although at the time only part of the issue related to the topic. Since 2017 there have been a plethora of articles published discussing estimands, either directly or indirectly using terms such as causal inference, in many journals. This virtual issue of Pharmaceutical Statistics takes a closer look at some of the progress that has been made since 2018 when implementing the estimand framework within clinical research.
It is fair to say estimands and sensitivity analyses are still seen very much as a statistical problem. Some of the publications in this virtual edition of Pharmaceutical Statistics should help statisticians to promote best practices and standards when discussing the treatment effect to be estimated and how post-randomization events can impact the goal of a study with colleagues. There is still a long way to go before the full potential of the estimand framework is fully realized and embraced by the wider community though. The estimand journey has really only just started, and we statisticians have an opportunity to lead, inspire and make a difference. This virtual issue brings together material that can aid statisticians in promoting the benefits of estimands.
Editor-in-Chief, Pharmaceutical Statistics