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
Close this folder5. Planning resources
View the document5.1 The first steps in planning
View the document5.2 Identify what is already available or accessible
View the document5.3 Make a realistic assessment of additional needs
Close this folder5.4 Human resources: who will do the work?
View the document5.4.1 The editorial team
View the document5.4.2 The advisory board
View the document5.4.3 External reviewers
View the document5.5 Maintaining the motivation of contributors
View the document5.6 Material resources - an office, equipment and references
View the document5.7 Financial resources - the key to sustainability
View the document5.8 Long-term sustainability
View the document5.9 Cost-saving strategies
View the document5.10 Key messages for starting a drug bulletin
View the document5.11 References
Open this folder and view contents6. Planning bulletin production: schedules and timing
Open this folder and view contents7. The editorial process
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

5.4.2 The advisory board

The advisory board plays an essential role, even if it has few members, providing guidance to the editorial team. For example, it can help the editorial team to identify articles that do not adequately meet their objectives, lack of independence, or useful topics that have not been covered. The advisory board can also help the editorial team to discover new information sources and opportunities for collaboration, and may assist in promoting the bulletin. It is very helpful to have an advisory board consisting of members with backgrounds in different therapeutic areas.

Experienced members of other bulletins’ teams can also play this role. The advisory board may include non-health professionals and patients, as well as professionals who differ in orientation from the editorial team. For example, it is helpful for university-oriented editors to have clinically-oriented advisers, for hospital-based editors to have community-based advisers, for public sector editors to have private practice advisers, and vice-versa. The expertise of the members of the advisory board helps to broaden and complement the expertise of members of the editorial team.

Should ‘opinion leaders’ and ‘scientific experts’ be included in the advisory board? It may be useful to include them because of the help they can provide, especially if they are available and not too far removed from everyday practice, or because their involvement helps to extend the bulletin’s sphere of influence. However, if they have conflicts of interest or a clear lack of independence, no title or supposed expertise justifies involving them in the advisory board.

Neither the members of the editorial team nor the advisory board members should be appointed for life. Regular evaluation is necessary to maintain and improve the bulletin’s quality. Fixed-term contracts, lasting, say two - three years, may therefore be useful.

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