The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) has just published their annual report on research impact and PRUK are delighted to be one of the featured charities, highlighting the important work that the charity does.
The AMRC is a membership organisation of the leading medical and health research charities in the UK. The AMRC has 140 member charities covering a wide range of medical and health-related disease areas. Collectively, AMRC members contribute over one third of all publicly-funded medical research in the UK. PRUK have been a proud member of the AMRC since our founding in 2012. Having AMRC accredited status illustrates that any research funded is of high quality and has been evaluated by a rigorous peer review process, for which PRUK was recognised by the AMRC in 2015 for managing a robust peer review process. PRUK have also worked with the AMRC on various health policy issues, such as the AMRC submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on leaving the EU.
Research impact can take many forms, however, to have impact a piece of research will have changed or influenced the ways things are currently done. For instance, a piece of research could directly influence policy and therefore impact patient care at bedside, or its impact could be longer term, such as allowing other researchers to build more focussed research project in the area thus enabling these future projects to have a greater impact . However, research that presents negative or null findings are also as important, as they also dictate the course of future research and allow researchers to become more informed on where future research priorities should be set. For further information on research impact, please read PRUK’s blog here.
We are delighted that a pharmacy research project, jointly funded by PRUK and the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) is profiled in the report. This research was commissioned in 2014 to investigate unlicensed medicines use across the multidisciplinary team and was led Gemma Donovan. Gemma’s project highlights the requirement for training and development of the core standards on the use of unlicensed medicines, so this can be standardised across different pharmacy practices. Her research also raised concerns over the current lack of multidisciplinary and patient involvement in developing guidance on the use of unlicensed medicines, which raised the question as to whether there is a lack of awareness of the use of unlicensed medicines outside of the pharmacy profession. This illustrates just how valuable the work is that PRUK supports and further solidifies the important role that researchers within pharmacy have in maximising impact, not just within the industry, but also beyond into many specific health issues and governmental policies.
The AMRC have highlighted Gemma’s research as a case study demonstrating how research within pharmacy can benefit the sector and influence the course of future research; inform policies and the consequent actions that take place. Our Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Professor Anthony Smith, says:
“Pharmacy Research UK has funded almost £1.5million into pharmacy research, with the ultimate aim of improved patient care. Seeing work like Gemma’s profiled by the AMRC is evidence of the clear impact that pharmacy research can have on wider healthcare issues and how pharmacy professionals can enhance impact within research”