Pharmacist honoured with international award

An academic pharmacist from Leeds has become the first person from the UK to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award from a leading international industry body.

Theo raynor

Professor Theo Raynor, of the School of Healthcare, received the Lifetime Achievement in Pharmaceutical Practice Award from the Fédération Internationale Pharmaceutique – the International Pharmaceutical Federation – (FIP), at a ceremony in Dusseldorf.

Professor Raynor, whose specialism is ensuring that information on medicine labels and leaflets is clear and correct, has conducted research in the field for 40 years.

A central part of his team’s research has been internationally-focused, including critically examining the impact of European legislation on patient information leaflets, and the introduction in 2005 of mandatory 'user testing' with lay people. 

This led to the formation of the spin-out company Luto Research, which has become one the biggest and most influential providers of user testing services across Europe, with bases in Leeds and Paris.

Professor Raynor, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, has spearheaded significant developments in policy and practice nationally and internationally. In the UK he was invited by the British National Formulary to lead collaborative research to develop a revised set of pharmacy label wordings, now in routine use. Other notable outputs include the booklet now given to all patients in the UK taking lithium for mental health problems. The booklet was made more patient-friendly by getting lay people to review the content to see if they could find and understand the information they need to take the medicine safely and effectively. 

Internationally, he has given evidence to the European Parliament and has had input over the years into US Food and Drug Administration thinking on consumer medicines information, including being lead respondent at an FDA-sponsored seminar at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.

Professor Raynor said: “This award is recognition of many years of hard work. Improving information about medicines is fundamental, because it helps make a patient’s life a little bit easier. To be the first UK recipient of this award is very humbling.”

Professor Raynor, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, retired from full-time work in 2014. However, he continues to provide his expertise, for example at the most recent FIP Congress in Bangkok, where he was asked to introduce and set the scene on a session on national medicines information strategies. He also recently served as academic advisor to European Commission-funded research on the shortcomings of patient information leaflets, and how they can be improved, continuing his work to improve this crucial information for patients.

Presenting Professor Raynor with his award, Phil Schneider, FIP Vice-President, said: “Theo has pioneered innovative, patient-centred research in communicating medicines information supplied to patients through pharmacists and patient leaflets.

“His vision was not only to produce solid academic work on this topic, with over 150 research publications, but also to push for its translation into policies such as the introduction, in 2005, of mandatory user testing of patient information leaflets by the public. This policy transformed pharmacy practice as well as informing — and I would also say empowering — the public.”

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