Starting or Strengthening a Drug Bulletin - A Practical Manual
(2005; 165 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentHow the manual was produced
View the documentAbout ISDB
View the documentExecutive summary
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Rational use of medicines
Open this folder and view contents3. What are drug bulletins?
Open this folder and view contents4. Defining aims, target and type of bulletin
Open this folder and view contents5. Planning resources
Open this folder and view contents6. Planning bulletin production: schedules and timing
Close this folder7. The editorial process
View the document7.1 Outline of the editorial process
Open this folder and view contents7.2 Editing a drug bulletin
Close this folder7.3 Writing bulletin articles
View the document7.3.1 Finding and motivating authors
View the document7.3.2 Rewarding authors
View the document7.3.3 Writing an article
View the document7.3.4 Outlining the topic
View the document7.3.5 Searching for documentation
View the document7.3.6 The first draft
View the document7.3.7 Discuss the draft with an editor
Open this folder and view contents7.4 Reviewing the article
View the document7.5. Rewriting the article
View the document7.6 Final checks
Open this folder and view contents7.7 Follow-up after publication
View the document7.8 References
Open this folder and view contents8. Reviewing a new drug: is it a therapeutic advance?
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexe to Chapter 8: Evaluating harm
Open this folder and view contents9. Design and production
Open this folder and view contents10. Dissemination
Open this folder and view contents11. Organizational and legal issues
Open this folder and view contents12. Evaluating quality and usefulness
Open this folder and view contents13. Partnership and collaboration
Open this folder and view contents14. Keeping records and creating a memory
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix: Electronic sources of information

7.3.4 Outlining the topic

This is one of the longest steps. When feasible it is helpful to organize a meeting of editors and advisers to discuss this collectively. These are the aims of the topic outline:

• to set limits for the article and agree on what not to include;
• to raise the questions likely to interest clinicians and patients that need to be answered;
• to determine what kind of information is needed to write the article.

You will need to distinguish clearly between what is and is not known about the topic. Box 7.3 outlines the importance of clearly separating out different types of information in an article.

Box 7.3 Avoiding a confusing mixture

A reliable and useful article should clearly separate:




hypothesis or extrapolation

Area of knowledge


area of belief

Scientific evidence



Clinically relevant endpoints


surrogate endpoints



clinical pharmacology

Results of controlled experimental trials


descriptive, non-experimental data

It is also useful to think about negative influences on readers:

• false and preconceived ideas;
• traditional concepts;
• vulnerability to drug promotion;
• the force of habit.

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