Professor DK Theo Raynor
My research has centered around supporting patients in making informed decisions about their medications and overall health. Specifically, I've focused on the provision of consumer medicines information, encompassing both written and spoken details available to individuals regarding their medications. With a background of 20 years as a practicing hospital pharmacist, I seamlessly integrated my practice with research and teaching until 1996, when I transitioned into academia.
In 2000, I became the inaugural Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Leeds, leading a highly active practice research program. Simultaneously, I co-founded Luto Research, a company that emerged from the University in 2009, complementing my academic efforts.
My involvement extends to serving on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's 'Expert Advisory Panel on Pharmaceutical Science,' which has now transformed into the RPS 'Science & Research Board.' In a video commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, I describe my research, emphasizing its impact on assisting people in safely and effectively managing their medications. In recognition of my contributions, the University awarded me the title of Emeritus Professor in 2017.
Over my 40 years of research, I've consistently addressed the imperative to enhance the information available to individuals about their medications. My work has critically assessed the influence of European legislation on patient leaflets, delving into the realm of 'user testing.' This exploration culminated in the establishment of User Testing | Luto Research in 2004, a company that remains a prominent provider of user testing services globally. I served in various capacities within the company, concluding my tenure as Academic Advisor upon my retirement in 2023.
I have advised the European Medicines Agency, the European Parliament, and the US Food and Drugs Administration.
- Advisor to two European Commission reports on the ‘shortcomings’ of patient leaflets and statutory information on medicines for health professionals - published in 2015 - and which are now informing policy Europe-wide.
- Member of Working Group XI: Patient Involvement in Development and Safe Use of Medicines of the Council for International Organisations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS).
- Contributor to the ‘Good Lay Summary Practices’ Roadmap Initiative of the European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP) – now published on the European Commission website
I’ve delivered invited plenary presentations at international conferences including in Istanbul and Beijing (World Pharmacy Congresses), Washington DC (National Health Literacy Conference) and Dubai (DUPHAT International Pharmacy Conference), as well as at an FDA forum at the Brookings Institution in DC. I delivered an expert lecture series in Helsinki in 2015 at the invitation of the Finnish Medicines Agency. I frequently appear on radio and television - on BBC TV News and the flagship BBC Radio ‘Today’ programme. I have received national and international Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Fédération Internationale Pharmaceutique (FIP).
Medicines information for patients
My research focused on the effective development and delivery of information for patients and was undertaken in the context of a partnership approach to medicine taking. This ensures that the patient’s perspective is at the centre of decision-making. My expert profile in consumer medicines information contributed to healthcare practice and policy at national, European and international level. Key research included leadership for:
- The first European studies subsequent to the ground-breaking EU law requiring supply of a comprehensive leaflet for patients with each medicine pack
- A systematic review of research evidence for written medicines information funded by UK Department of Health, Health Technology Assessment programme
- A collaboration with Australian universities, including Sydney and Queensland, for the government-funded 'Improving consumer medicines information' research study.
- Testing and improving the mandatory medicine label wordings used by UK pharmacists – commissioned by British National Formulary. All UK pharmacies now use these improved wordings – contributing to safer and more effective use of medicines.
- Testing and refining the new lithium patient booklet, now given all patients taking this medicine in the UK, to support safe and effective use of the medicine
- Testing and suggesting improvements for lay summaries for European Public Assessment Reports (EPARs) and, Risk Management plans (RMPs). This work has fed into improvements in the European guidance and templates for these summaries.
My most recent research focused on provision of digital medicines information and new initiatives leading to the provision of clinical trial results lay summaries.
Medicines Optimisation research
Medicines information for patients is closely linked with wider questions about how people use their medicines. I’ve been involved in 2 major projects in medicines optimisation:
ISCOMAT: Improving the Safety and Continuity Of Medicines management at Transitions of care. This programme studies medicines management for patients with heart failure across a range of health organisations involved in their care in the National Health Service (NHS). Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through its Programme Grants for Applied Health Research, I co-led the workstream which used the process of EBCD (Experience Based Co-Design) to help design the intervention to be tested.
Patient Safety Translational Research Centre: Yorkshire & Humber - one of 3 nationally funded centres by the National Institute for Health Research. The centre was founded on a long-term partnership between the Universities of Leeds and Bradford and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I co-led one of the workstreams associated with research into 'Safe use of medicines' - looking at how inappropriate prescribing can be reduced in patients prescribed many medicines.
In 2009, I founded a research collaboration between the University of Leeds and Universities of Sydney, Wisconsin & North Carolina – under the auspices of the Worldwide Universities Network. This collaboration is now led by Professor David Alldred at Leeds and Prof Parisa Aslani at Sydney
Internationally, collaborations have been undertaken with the Universities of Utrecht (Netherlands), Aarhus (Denmark) and Northwestern University (Chicago, USA).
I’ve been granted two honorary titles:
- Adjunct Professor, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Honorary Professor, School of Pharmacy, Univesity of Sydney.
- BPharm (Hons)
- Fellow of Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Research groups and institutes
- Medicines optimisation