Professor DK Theo Raynor
- Position: Emeritus Professor
- Areas of expertise: Medicines information for patients; readability; user testing; patient empowerment; patient information leaflets; consumer medicines information; medicine labels; lay summaries
- Email: D.K.Raynor@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 1228
- Location: 2.23 Baines Wing
- Website: Twitter
Theo Raynor researches how patients can be supported to make good decisions about their medicines and their health - notably through the provision of consumer medicines information - the written and spoken information available to people about their medicines. He spent 20 years practising as a hospital pharmacist, combining practice with research and teaching, before moving into academia in 1996.
He became the inaugural Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Leeds in 2000, where he led a highly active practice research programme. This work was complemented by the company which he co-founded, Luto Research, which spun out of the University in 2009. Theo remains an academic adviser to the company - see below.
Theo previously served on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society ‘Expert Advisory Panel on Pharmaceutical Science’ - now reformed as the RPS 'Science & Research Board'. In a video commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Theo describes his research and its focus on making an impact on helping people take their medicines safely and effectively. He was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor in 2017, and now works part-time, continuing his work at research, practice and policy level in the UK, US and Australia.
Theo's 40 years of research has focussed on the need to improve the information people get about their medicines. His research has critically examined the impact of European legislation on patient leaflets, and how they are tested with the public – so-called ‘user testing’. This led to the formation of spin-out company Luto Research in 2004, which continues to be a leading and influential provider of user testing services internationally. The synergies between the University and Luto are the foundation of his research which has influenced policy in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. Luto still maintains strong links with academia and looks to reflect the latest insights from research in the work it undertakes with clients.
Theo has 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
Theo has 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. He delivered an expert lecture series in Helsinki in 2015 at the invitation of the Finnish Medicines Agency. Theo frequently appears on radio and television - on BBC TV News and the flagship BBC Radio ‘Today’ programme. He has received national and international Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Fédération Internationale Pharmaceutique (FIP).
Medicines informationfor patients
Theo’s research focuses on the effective development and delivery of information for patients and is 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. His expert profile in consumer medicines information contributes 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.
Current research focuses 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. Theo has 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, Theo 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 is founded on a long-term partnership between the Universities of Leeds and Bradford and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Theo 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, Theo 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).
Theo was 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