Communicating evidence about medicines

As part of our workstream on ‘Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’, the Academy held two events on the topic of ‘Communicating evidence about medicines’.

Launched

For more information about the project, visit our dedicated microsite.

The Academy held two events on 'Communicating evidence about medicines' as part of its wider workstream on ‘Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’.

Recent controversies reported in the media around statins, Tamiflu and the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine have raised questions about how evidence is communicated to patients, citizens, healthcare professionals and journalists. To ensure that patients and citizens are able to make the most informed decisions about their treatments, supported by informed healthcare practitioners, the potential benefits and harms of these need to be clearly and accurately conveyed, taking individuals’ beliefs and perceptions into consideration.

Media roundtable

On 8 April 2016, the Academy held a two-hour roundtable meeting in partnership with the Science Media Centre to discuss the role and responsibilities of the media and the main challenges in communicating evidence. The meeting was attended by journalists and press officers from universities, journals and research charities as well as members of the Academy’s Oversight Group on ‘Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’.

The workshop aimed to explore a number of areas, including:

  • What are the respective roles and responsibilities of journalists, scientists and press officers when communicating evidence about medicines?
  • How should the media present preliminary or controversial areas of scientific research?
  • Are there any problems or misunderstandings with the current system, and what (if anything) might need fixing?

The event was well-attended, with lively participation and discussion.

A report of the roundtable meeting can be downloaded from the right hand side of this page. This report does not represent a formal Academy of Medical Sciences position on how best to communicate evidence about medicines in the media, but instead serves to reflect the wide-ranging discussions that took place at the meeting. The report fed into the ‘Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’ Oversight Group's deliberations.

A news article by Professor Sir John Tooke FMedSci, Chair of the ‘Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’ workstream, which discusses the roundtable meeting is available here

 

‘Communicating evidence about medicines’ workshop

On 6 June 2016, and as part of the Academy’s ‘Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’ policy stream, we held a one-day workshop on 'Communicating evidence about medicines'. The meeting was chaired by Professor Dame Theresa Marteau DBE FMedSci and aimed to explore the evidence on effective ways of communicating quantitative evidence about the potential benefits and harms of medicines, and how this impacts on understanding and trustworthiness. Attendees included representatives from academia, journals, patient groups, industry, regulators, the healthcare sector, and the media.

More information, including an agenda and background document, can be found on our dedicated events page.

A report of the workshop is now available, and can be downloaded from the right of this page. This report does not represent a formal Academy of Medical Sciences position on how best to communicate evidence about medicines, but instead serves to reflect the wide-ranging discussions that took place at the meeting. The report will feed into the ‘Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines’ Oversight Group's deliberations.

A news article by the Chair of the workshop, Professor Dame Theresa Marteau DBE FMedSci, is available here

 

Staff leads


Mentoring Masterclass, London (November)

Book Now

How can press officers help improve public trust in medical evidence?

Book Now

Early Intervention and Diagnosis in Paediatric Neurodevelopment Defects

Book Now
View more