Professor David (Theo) Raynor
Professor of Pharmacy Practice, University of Leeds
DK Theo Raynor FRPharmS has pioneered innovative, patient-centred research in communicating medicines information over the past 35 years. This research has informed significant improvements nationally and internationally in the information supplied by pharmacists to patients.
Theo graduated from the Nottingham in 1979, and his lifetime’s research began with his pre-registration project on medicine label wordings. The next 20 years in hospital clinical practice was marked by continuing research, and he became a key figure in the multi-agency pressure group ‘Promoting Excellence in Consumer Medicines Information’ (PECMI), which lobbied UK and European legislators in the 1990s. He became inaugural Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Leeds, in 2000.
Theo’s work has always retained a patient focus , and a central part of his team’s research was 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 University of Leeds 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. The synergies between Theo’s work at the University and at Luto have been at the foundation of his recent internationally influential work, including an international research collaboration, as part of the Worldwide Universities Network, with the Universities of Wisconsin and Sydney. In 2010 Theo was invited by the BNF to lead collaborative research to develop a revised set of pharmacy label wordings, now in routine use. Other notable outputs include the purple ‘Lithium booklet’, refined and tested for the National Patient Safety Agency.
Theo’s current focus is how best to present benefit and harm information – without which he believes patients cannot be truly ’informed’. In a recent BMJ editorial, he promoted his view that an informed patient should be a goal in itself – if they then decide that a medicine is not right for them, this is an acceptable outcome.
Theo has advised the Commission on Human Medicines, the European Medicines Agency, the European Parliament, and the US Food and Drugs Administration. He was appointed a Fellow of the RPS in 2012 and has delivered invited plenaries across the world, including the Centennial World Pharmacy Congress, and as Practice Chair of the BPC in 2008. In 2012 he was appointed to the Expert Advisory Panel of the RPS, and played an important role in developing the patient-centred aspects of the 2014 publication ‘New Medicines, Better Medicines, Better Use of Medicines’. Theo has more than 150 research publications, and is passionate about wider dissemination of his research, and appears frequently in the press, radio and television, on the need for better consumer medicines information. In 2013 he gave the 53rd annual Rennebohm Lecture at the University of Wisconsin.
His is currently an 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.