Medical Writing Writing better Advancing the Medical Writing profession: The Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers

Volume 26, Issue 1 - Writing better

Advancing the Medical Writing profession: The Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers


A wintry London in January saw the release of the first joint position statement on the role ofthe professional medical writer (page 7). But why do we need such a statement and what does it say? The Executive Committee identified the need to update our guidelines on medical writing, and Sam Hamilton approached Art Gertel and me in May last year about the possibility of a joint position statement endorsed by both the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and EMWA. When the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) also said that they would come on board, we knew we were onto something. Eight months later, at the 2017 European meeting of ISMPP, the AMWA–EMWA–ISMPP Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers was launched.

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  2. Jacobs A, Wager E. European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) guidelines on the role of medical writers in developing peer-reviewed publications. Curr Med Res Opin 2005;21:317–22.
  3. ISMPP. Position Statement: the role of the professional medical writer. Tarrytown NY, USA: International Society for Medical Publication Professionals/2011 [cited 30 Sep 2016 ]. Available from:
  4. Marusic A, Hren D, Mansi B et al. Five-step authorship framework to improve transparency in disclosing contributors to industry-sponsored clinical trial publications. BMC Med 2014;12:197.
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  6. Woolley K, Lew RA, Stretton S et al. Lack of involvement of medical writers and the pharmaceutical industry in publications retracted for misconduct: a systematic, controlled, retrospective study. Curr Med Res Opin 2011;27:1175–82.
  7. Jacobs A. Adherence to the CONSORT guideline in papers written by professional medical writers. Write Stuff 2010;19:196–199.
  8. Gattrell WT, Hopewell S, Young K et al. Professional medical writing support and the quality of randomised controlled trial reporting: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010329.
  9. Shah S, Nair S, Patil A et al. Role of medical publication professional in timely dissemination and transparent reporting of clinical data [poster]. Curr Med Res Opin 2016;32(Suppl 1):S12.
  10. Gattrell W, Maisonobe P, de Abada M. Outcome reporting, funding source and medical writing support in publications evaluated in the COMPare project. Presented at the 2017 European Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP), London, 17–18 January, 2017 (poster). [cited 2017 Jan 24]. Available from:



Writing Better
President’s Message
Advancing the Medical Writing profession: The Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers
AMWA-EMWA-ISMPP Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers
EMWA’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
Finding the action in your writing: Avoiding nominalisation
Removing the dead wood
Writing economically in medicine and science: Tips for tackling wordiness
How to shorten a text by up to 30% and improve clarity without losing information
Troublesome words
Can you recognise the four main ways that English sentences can be structured?
Three strategies to help you write clearly for a lay audience
Structuring paragraphs
A checklist to improve your writing
Results of the 2016 EMWA member survey
News from the EMA
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Teaching Medical Writing
In the Bookstores
Lingua Franca and Beyond
The Webscout
Good Writing Practice
Medical Communications
Profile: An Interview with Michael Markie - an open science and open data advocate
Out on Our Own


The Write Stuff Archive Contact Instructions for Authors Article Template (Word) Journal Policies

Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk