COVID-19: our priorities for policy and research dissemination

May 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is a threat to the health and wellbeing of the individuals we know and love, the systems our collective way of life is built on – and the people who make those systems work. At a time of such gravity and uncertainty, many people are asking : ‘how can I help?’.
 
At the Society, we hope that in developing our answer, we recognise and support the manifold contributions of our members in the effort against COVID-19. Many pharmacologists and clinical pharmacologists are playing a direct role, as researchers working to develop treatments, as doctors treating patients and as experts supporting regulators with approvals processes and clinical guidance.
 
Within the Society, our policy and research dissemination activities are  helping us connect with members and to support them to communicate their expertise through scientific and public channels. Our teams are working together on a joint, coordinated response with three main goals, to: 

  • Share information and connect our members to opportunities
  • Share research and commentary on aspects of COVID-19 that relate to pharmacology and clinical pharmacology
  • Support journalists with reliable information

We recognise that our members are under increased pressure. We hope that by acting in a focused and coordinated way, we can help add real value to the COVID-19 effort whilst remaining sensitive in what we ask of members at this difficult time.
 
We also recognise the unprecedented challenges posed by this pandemic and the impact it is having on daily life across the world. The need for global collaboration and communication is vital. The Pharmacology Matters team would love to hear from you if you would like to share your experiences and expert views in the area, or have ideas for future articles for the Society’s online magazine. Get in touch at editorialpm@bps.ac.uk 

Our goals:

Share information and connect our members to opportunities

We have set up a COVID-19 hub on our website to signpost to reputable information. We are also sharing educational resources, including free to use prescribing training resources intended to help support healthcare professionals who are returning to work, and connecting members to opportunities to helpthe COVID-19 effort. We are regularly reviewing this information and welcome input from members if you would like to suggest information for the site.
 
Share research and commentary on aspects of COVID-19 that relate to pharmacology and clinical pharmacology

As leading international journals, the Society’s publications are committed to providing authoritative insight and commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic. All research on COVID-19 published in our journals will be free to access, and both the British Journal of Pharmacology and the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology currently have open calls for papers, and are exploring ways to fast track content around COVID-19 to ensure rapid dissemination. We are working with our journal editors to understand the research and clinical priorities for our community and to explore communicating these for specialist and non-specialist audiences. We have also developed Society positions on some critical aspects of the pandemic relating to medicines development and use, which we hope will help inform discussion and practice.
 
Support journalists with reliable information

The Science Media Centre (SMC) team are doing a fantastic job of fielding enquiries from journalists on the science and healthcare aspects of COVID-19. We are working with them to help get high quality and reliable information to journalists as part of informing public discussion and confidence. We will update our website where our input is publicly shareable, and you can also look at the SMC website for broader commentary.
 
While several of our immediate events have been postponed, please be assured that most of the Society’s activity is continuing alongside our COVID-19 response. Members can still contact us with any queries.


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