The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), European Medical Writers Association (EMWA), and International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) released a Joint Position Statement on the Role of Professional Medical Writers on January 17, 2017, which is the first unified position on the role of professional medical writers from three leading professional organizations.

Yvonne Yarker, PhD, CMPPTM, Chair of ISMPP’s Board of Trustees, who announced the Joint Position Statement during the European Meeting of ISMPP, January 17-18, 2017, in London, stated, “The Joint Position Statement will benefit professional medical writers by helping to share best practices and confirm the value of the profession.”

Building on Good Publication Practice (GPP3) guidelines and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations, the Joint Position Statement describes best practices for professional medical writers. It also provides a template for appropriately disclosing medical writing support.

The Joint Position Statement explains the value of professional medical writing to evidence-based medicine by summarizing current evidence on the professional medical writer’s role in the ethical, accurate, and timely disclosure of research results. “By emphasizing that professional medical writers are appropriately qualified and follow rigorous guidelines, the Joint Position Statement seeks to strengthen the standing of the profession among journal editors, peer reviewers, and readers,” said Chris Winchester, DPhil, EMWA Member.

The Joint Position Statement can be accessed on the ISMPP website at:

“This Joint Position Statement describes, for the first time, a global standard for professional medical writers. This will serve as a valuable reference for ethical publication practices, worldwide,” stated Art Gertel, AMWA Past-President.

AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP together have a total membership of over 6,500 medical communicators around the world. The Joint Position Statement supersedes previous position statements and guidelines from participating organizations. Individual members are encouraged to update their own publication policies accordingly.

The Joint Position Statement was drafted and reviewed by representatives of AMWA, EMWA, and ISMPP, located in Europe, North America, and Asia. Preparation of the Joint Position Statement was possible thanks to the efforts of four members of the Writing Committee (Art Gertel, AMWA; Chris Winchester, EMWA; Karen Woolley and Yvonne Yarker, ISMPP), the organizational reviewers, and all those involved in the original position statements of the three organizations.

Presentations on the Joint Position Statement are also planned for the 13th Annual Meeting of ISMPP, May 1-3, 2017, in National Harbor, Maryland, USA, and ISMPP’s Asia Pacific Meeting, September 5, 2017, in Tokyo, Japan.

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