Media coverage of the use of statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, of Tamiflu to treat flu and of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer have opened up public debate about medical and scientific claims.
CLAHRC researcher and leader of our behaviour change theme Professor Rob Horne (pictured below) has helped produce new resources for professionals and patients to improve the way evidence about medicines is communicated.
Professor Horne is part of a prestigious Oversight Group within the Academy of Medical Sciences looking at how scientific evidence around medicines can best be communicated and understood.
Their report entitled Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines aims to address problems that can arise from poor-quality evidence about medicines, or misrepresentation or misperception of evidence.
The report and associated resources will help health professionals to improve the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines. This will lead to better, more informed conversations between professional and patient about the benefits and risks of prescribing (or not prescribing) a particular medicine.
Other resources produced as part of this work include a pocket guide for patients entitled Helping you decide whether to take a medicine