Learned societies taking action to tackle antimicrobial resistance
Published 18 November 2014
A partnership of learned societies representing 75,000 scientists has come together to lead the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
Stemming the rise of antimicrobial resistance is one of humanity’s great challenges. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that antimicrobial resistance threatens to cast medicine ‘back into the dark ages’ and the UK Department of Health has recently published a five year antimicrobial resistance strategy.
In response to this, seven UK learned societies have formed the Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance (LeSPAR) to support actions that can mitigate this global challenge. LeSPAR aims to provide a single, unified voice and mobilise the UK’s collective research community in order to enhance understanding and knowledge sharing between academia, industry, and clinicians. The group is focused on taking action, championing best practice and raising awareness of the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
LeSPAR will achieve these aims by:
• Supporting researchers in creating, sharing and applying knowledge
• Organising focused events to enable networking and knowledge exchange, and to promote effective collaborations across disciplines and sectors
• Engaging with government and other funders to achieve policy and funding support for the antimicrobial research community and connecting expertise from our membership to policy makers
• Assembling information on relevant resources and meetings
British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
British Pharmacological Society
Royal Society of Chemistry
Society for Applied Microbiology
Society for General Microbiology
Society of Biology
Collectively, these Societies represent around 75,000 scientists.
Declaration on Research Assessment
Published 10 September 2013
BPS has signed up to the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). This Declaration is an international initiative that calls for better evaluation of the outputs of scientific research (focusing on research articles in peer reviewed journals but recognizing the value of other outputs such as datasets). The three core themes are:
• the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations
• the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published
• the need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by online publication (such as relaxing unnecessary limits on the number of words, figures, and references in articles, and exploring new indicators of significance and impact
Impact Factor, when used appropriately i.e. to aid librarians in choosing journals to purchase, is a useful tool. The Society strongly agrees with the core message of DORA that the Impact Factor is not an appropriate measure of the quality of research and should not be considered in promotion criteria, funding or appointments. As part of our 5-year strategy we have committed to developing an integrated publications programme and will be working with our publishers to consider offering a variety of metrics regarding our journals, afforded by their online-only format.
All Trials Petition
Published 10 December 2012
BPS has announced its intention to sign the All Trials petition. This decision underlines the Society’s unqualified commitment to the principles of transparency in clinical trials, which has been a central theme of its collaborative work with organisations in health and commercial life science settings for a number of years.
Ethical standards and clinical trials: a letter to the Times
Published 7 November 2012
In a letter to the Times, BPS President Professor Phil Routledge joined 15 other healthcare representatives to highlight the work of the healthcare professions and life sciences industry in the campaign for clinical trial transparency.
Declaration on openess on animal research
Published 19 October 2012
BPS position on animal research, as set out in the recent Declaration on Openness on Animal Research and supported by a number of UK organizations.
Health and life sciences group agrees new clinical trials transparency principles
Published 23 May 2012
The Ethical Standards in Health and Life Sciences Group (ESHLSG) has published a new series of Clinical Trial Transparency Principles and Facts. This is the first time that leading healthcare professional bodies and senior representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have agreed to a joint approach on this critical issue. This is an important step forward in the on-going move across the entire research community to drive best practice in clinical research reporting.
Healthcare community agree on principles for working together to improve patient health
Published 28 March 2012
Healthcare leaders from across the UK have published a new set of guidelines to promote positive collaboration between health organizations and the pharmaceutical industry and help guide their working practices and interaction.
The Code of Practice for the Pharmaceutical Industry 2012
Published 4 January 2012
Published by ABPI the code regulates the advertising of medicines for prescription to health professionals and administrative staff. It also covers information about prescription only medicines made available to the general public.
Fresh concern over immigration restrictions
Published 14 November 2011
Professor Ray Hill, President of the British Pharmacological Society has joined other key figures from our sector in signing a letter requesting that the government review its propositions on settlement rights for immigrants.
Publication of UK Bioscience Sector Coalition response
Published 23 September 2011
The UK Bioscience Coalition response to the Home Office consultation on the Transposition of European Directive 2010/63/EU. BPS endorses the Coalition's response.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society have launched their good practice guidelines for the transfer of care between providers. Final versions of the health professional guidance and guidance for commissioners and providers are now ready and have the endorsement of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Physicians. All documents and background information can be found on the RPS website, direct links to the guidelines can be found below.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges was asked by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS Medical Director, to work closely with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Royal College of Nursing to develop standards for the design of in-patient prescription charts, using expert opinion and evidence where available. Their report is now available on the website of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
The BPS are supporting the Academy of Medical Sciences review, A new pathway for the regulation and governance of health research. The review examines the regulation and governance of UK health research involving human participants, their tissue or their data.
The review proposes four key principles that should underpin the regulation and governance framework around health research in the UK, offering a unique insight into the current state of, and future prospects for, clinical trials in the UK.
BPS President Professor Ray Hill has added his signature to a new Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) code of conduct. The statement, Evolving the relationship between the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry, aims to support greater openness and transparency in the relationship between industry and healthcare professionals, something that is as important to the BPS as it is to our co-signatories from the medical profession, wider healthcare and across industry.
The ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines have been developed by the NC3Rs to improve standards of reporting and ensure that the data from animal experiments can be fully evaluated and utilised. These guidelines are intended to improve the reporting of animal experiments and have been published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and seven other journals.
The BPS, in April 2010, wrote to over 230 prospective parliamentary candidates, many of whom have a STEM background, to call for the protection of teaching and research in pharmacology in universities. The letter makes the case that pharmacology, which is at the heart of drug discovery and development, is of strategic importance to the health and wealth of the nation.
While medicines have the capacity to enhance health, all have the potential to cause harm. BPS recommends that healthcare professionals who prescribe medicines should do so using the Ten Principles of Good Prescribing, which underpin the safe and effective use of medicines.
Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Developments 2006-2009
The expansion of clinical pharmacology in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s was followed in the 1990s and the early part of this century by contraction, as universities allowed numbers of consultant clinical pharmacologists to fall. However, in the last four years (2006-2009) there has been renewed interest in the subject, and many positive developments have occurred. A full narrative account of these developments will appear in the February issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.