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Research has a bright future (Clinical Pharmacist, November 2010)

by Matthew Wright

History has shown that when it comes to medical research the scientific community does not always get it right. We can highlight, for instance, failings by the pharmaceutical industry in recent years to reveal, fully, data that may raise questions about the safety of certain new drugs.

In this month’s issue we take a step further back in time (but, somewhat unsettlingly, not really that far back) to before the advent of “good clinical practice” (GCP) — in By the book (p370) we are reminded that gross injustices of the past (google “Tuskegee syphilis experiment”) make GCP far more than a dry set of principles.

But the world of research reaches wider than drug trials and GCP; within our own profession we are encouraged to get involved in auditing and practice research. This begs the question: “Do pharmacists gearing up to undertake research have the necessary support to ensure their work adds value?”

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has been working to address this, through the development of a pharmacy research “map” — essentially a register that members can use to find out what research is happening in different regions or particular fields of practice.

And so have specialist colleagues: a “National cancer pharmacy draft research strategy” was launched for consultation by the British Oncology Pharmacy Association and the Faculty of Cancer Pharmacy in October (see Meeting, p349). In their words: “The UK oncology pharmacy community, like the rest of pharmacy, is becoming more mindful of the need to build research and audit into everyday practice.” It is hoped that the strategy will help to focus their efforts.

So what is Clinical Pharmacist doing to help? Well, we have identified that the main barrier to us getting your papers published quickly is finding enough room in print. We have therefore developed a new system whereby your full paper is published online as soon as possible after being accepted via peer review — with a one-page summary of the work published in print soon after.

Our first summary of an Original paper is published on p369. We hope that this streamlined approach will help ensure your research is shared.

Matthew Wright, editor

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11041138

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