New Medical Writer Joint Position Statement released by AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP

17 January 2017

London, UK, 17 January 2017 – The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), European Medical Writers Association (EMWA), and International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) today released a Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers, which is the first unified position on the role of professional medical writers from three leading professional organizations.

Yvonne Yarker, PhD, CMPPTM, Chair of ISMPP’s Board of Trustees, who has just announced the Joint Position Statement at the European Meeting of ISMPP, in London, stated, “The Joint Position Statement will benefit professional medical writers by helping to share best practices and confirm the value of the profession”.

Building on Good Publication Practice (GPP3) guidelines and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations, the Joint Position Statement describes best practices for professional medical writers. It also provides a template for appropriately disclosing medical writing support.

The Joint Position Statement explains the value of professional medical writing to evidence-based medicine by summarizing current evidence on the professional medical writer’s role in the ethical, accurate, and timely disclosure of research results. Chris Winchester, DPhil, EMWA representative and Managing Director of Oxford PharmaGenesis, who led the Joint Position Statement initiative, said, “By emphasizing that professional medical writers are appropriately qualified and follow rigorous guidelines, the Joint Position Statement seeks to strengthen the standing of the profession among journal editors, peer reviewers, and readers.”

The Joint Position Statement can be accessed on the AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP websites.

“This Joint Position Statement describes, for the first time, a global standard for professional medical writers. This will serve as a valuable reference for ethical publication practices worldwide,” stated Art Gertel, AMWA Past-President.

AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP together have a total membership of over 6500 medical communicators around the world. The Joint Position Statement supersedes previous position statements and guidelines from participating organizations. Individual members are encouraged to update their own publication policies accordingly.

The Joint Position Statement was drafted and reviewed by representatives of AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP, located in Europe, North America, and Asia. Preparation of the Joint Position Statement was possible thanks to the efforts of four members of the Writing Committee (Art Gertel, AMWA; Chris Winchester, EMWA; Karen Woolley and Yvonne Yarker, ISMPP), the organizational reviewers, and all those involved in the original position statements of the three organizations.