2011 was a challenging year for all publishers. For Pharmaceutical Press, uncertainties in the wider economy, and the NHS in particular, coupled with the continued shift from print delivery of books and information to digital formats, underpinned many decisions that had to be made throughout the year. But, although Pharmaceutical Press was faced with some difficult choices, it ended the year in a strong financial position and, following restructuring of various publishing processes, with flexible teams ready to make more out of opportunities in the UK and other parts of the world.
There were major new editions of two print publications, Martindale 37th edition and Clarke’s Analysis of Drugs and Poisons 4th edition. Both publications experienced a decline in sales compared with previous editions, although this was in line with industry trends. The book sales decline was offset by achieving growth in digital markets for these products. Our focus has been on expanding international sales, particularly in developing regions. Digital products continue to make an impact and lead the way in terms of increasing sustainable revenue.
In order to prepare Pharmaceutical Press to meet a more digital future, particularly with regard to more frequent online updates, we undertook a major process review across the editorial, technology and production teams. Through consultation with all staff, adopting the most practical suggestions for processes, we have been able to streamline many business functions. This has led to the adoption of a single way of processing, storing and outputting data for all of our major reference works, resulting in a more flexible and efficient organisation.
The first year of a new contract with the NHS has meant big changes for the BNF team. In 2012 BNF will move to monthly updates online, as well as maintaining the existing frequency in print. The BNF is available at bnf.org but also on NHS Evidence, NICE’s search engine for health information. A new improved version of the BNF Intranet called FormularyComplete was launched, providing a way for healthcare organisations to manage their own information and protocols alongside BNF and BNF for Children, on a searchable platform hosted locally. Internationally BNF continued to grow, winning a contract with local partner BPAC to provide a New Zealand Formulary from 2012.
The broad appeal of The Pharmaceutical Journal was recognised by it winning the ‘Publication of the Year’ award in the Avicenna Media Awards. With NHS classified advertising revenues still unpredictable a decision was made to outsource display advertising to James Pembroke Publishing. As a result The Journal was redesigned mid-year, and a new supplement, Community Matters launched to attract advertisers who do not traditionally use The Journal. Together with Clinical Pharmacist and the launch of an online revision aid for pre-registration trainees, TP ONtrack, PJ Publications has something to offer RPS members whatever their age or sector of practice.