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Tribute to Joanna Ruth Lumb

Jo Lumb was a champion for evidence-based medicine before the term even existed. In her career at The Pharmaceutical Journal, spanning 25 years up to 2000, Jo led from the front on the accurate reporting of clinical evidence. A great mentor to numerous aspiring writers (including me), she built and nurtured a crack team of reporters, of which she was hugely proud. Many of this team became her friends.

Seeing her separate the wheat from the chaff of clinical papers and press releases was something to behold. A master of the apparently simple question together with ‘that look’, Jo’s work was precision personified. Her network of clinical experts was legendary and she made powerful use of their wisdom through carefully posed questions for her articles. Modest to the point of self-deprecation, her Royal Pharmaceutical Society Fellowship was testament to an otherwise unsung hero.

Jo was also great company and had a huge sense of fun with a dry, sometimes waspish, wit and laughter. She was passionate about tennis, art and opera. Her 60th birthday bash at Quaglino’s still sets the bar for how these things are done with style. Although a Londoner for many years, she continued to love her native Yorkshire including Skipton where her dad was a GP.

Jo inspired awe, love and loyalty among her friends. Not a surprise that her instructions for her funeral include a party – we would have expected nothing less.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201468

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