Medical Writing Medical Writing in Paediatrics Medicines information for patients: Insights into research and practice for medical writers

Volume 21, Issue 2 - Medical Writing in Paediatrics

Medicines information for patients: Insights into research and practice for medical writers


Many people do not take their medicines as prescribed, and medicines can cause harm if not used appropriately. In addition, in most health systems there is increasing discussion about involving patients in decisions about their health – including decisions about the medicines they use. In addressing these issues, medicine information for patients can play a key role in supporting patients to get the best out of their medicines. For the information to work, it needs to be both accessible and understandable – this is easy to say, but less easy to put into practice. This article draws on research and practice to help answer the questions:


Why is medicines information for patients so important?


What sort of medicines information do people want?


How can we write and deliver such information?

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  2. Raynor DK, Blenkinsopp A, Knapp P, Grime J, Nicolson DJ, Pollock K, et al. A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative research on the role and effectiveness of written information available to patients about individual medicines. Health Technol Assess 2007;11:1–160.
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  12. Berry DC, Knapp PR, Raynor D. Provision of information about drug side-effects to patients. Lancet 2002;359:853–4.
  13. Knapp P, Gardner PH, Raynor DK, Woolf E, McMillan B. Perceived risk of tamoxifen side effects: a study of the use of absolute frequencies or frequency bands, with or without verbal descriptors. Patient Educ Couns 2010;79:267–71.
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  16. Amending Directive 2001/83/EC, as regards information to the general public on medicinal products subject to medical prescription and as regards pharmacovigilance. Brussels: European Commission; 2011.
  17. Quality Review of Documents Group. Human product information template v8.00. London: European Medicines Agency; 2011.
  18. Raynor DK, Knapp P, Silcock J, Parkinson B, Feeney K. “User-testing” as a method for testing the fitness-for-purpose of written medicine information. Patient Educ Couns 2011;83:404–10.
  19. Knapp P, Raynor DK, Silcock J, Parkinson B. Can user testing of a clinical trial patient information sheet make it fit-for-purpose? – a randomized controlled trial. BMC Med 2011;9: Article number 89.
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Medical writing in paediatrics: Children and the future
Message from the President
Challenges of paediatric drug development and impact of paediatric legislation
Writing applications for Paediatric Investigation Plans and waivers
Preparing the Paediatric Investigation Plan application
ADHD: A true neurodevelopmental disorder?
Medicines information for patients: Insights into research and practice for medical writers
The MHRA perspective on the new pharmacovigilance legislation
Are stem cells the future of healthcare?
O, safety, quo vadis?
Crowdpower in the era of ‘health 2.0’
Networking effectively: Essential for being successful in business
The moving image and your business
Forgive me for repeating myself: Self-plagiarism in the medical literature
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Manuscript Writing
Regulatory Writing
English Grammar and Style
Out On Our Own


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Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

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Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

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Amy Whereat

Section Editors

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Gained in Translation

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Getting Your Foot in the Door

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Good Writing Practice

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In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

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Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

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My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


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Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

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Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

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