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Editorial policies

Critical appraisals of new drugs, from a source like no other

La Revue Prescrire and Prescrire International: independent, reliable information about drugs and treatment strategies

Revue PrescrirePrescrire is a non-profit organization set up to provide health professionals – and via them, patients – with the clear, succinct and reliable information they need, in particular in the form of critical analyses of the evaluation of new drugs and diagnostic or therapeutic strategies.

Prescrire has been producing the monthly French-language journal La Revue Prescrire since January 1981. Its English-language edition, Prescrire International, was launched in March 1992. Both journals are available in paper and digital formats.

Prescrire, its publications and educational programs are wholly financed through subscriptions to its journals, eschewing advertising, grants, subsidies or a shareholder model as sources of revenue. As a result, its editorial choices are solely guided by their usefulness to health professionals in daily contact with patients.

Prescrire International Prescrire's publications and educational programs are published by Association Mieux Prescrire (AMP)

Prescrire was conceived in the late 1970s by a group of front-line health professionals (doctors and pharmacists) who wanted to create a continuing education journal that would be reliable, independent and adapted to the needs of primary care.

They formed an educational non-profit “association”, as defined by the French law of 1901, called Association Mieux Prescrire (AMP – EU Transparency Register No. 982539711698-79), which publishes all of Prescrire's printed and digital publications and educational programs. AMP's bylaws state that its primary purpose is "to work, in all independence, in favor of quality health care, first and foremost in the interest of patients".

See : > AMP: non-profit

Prescrire offers a range of educational programs for the continuing professional development of healthcare professionals. It is accredited as a provider of continuing education for doctors in France and for pharmacists in Belgium.

Several faculties of medicine and pharmacy in France have already incorporated Prescrire's educational programs into their undergraduate teaching, awarding credits to students who complete one of our programs.

Independence from companies and organizations involved in the pharmaceutical field

Prescrire primarily consists of health professionals, mainly doctors and pharmacists, committed to high-quality, independent health information.

The bylaws of Association Mieux Prescrire (AMP) state that members must strive to prevent conflicts of interest, in accordance with Prescrire’s "Non merci…" Charter, which forms part of its rules of procedure.

Every member of AMP's board, Prescrire's editorial committee and editorial staff signs an annual Declaration of Absence of Conflicts of Interest.

Prescrire is France's only publishing team of medical and pharmaceutical professionals funded exclusively by its subscribers, with no income from advertising, grants or subsidies.

See: > No conflicts of interest

For the purposes of full transparency, Prescrire publishes a summary of its annual financial report every year.

See: > Funding

An atypical editorial process, designed to ensure information of the highest quality

La Revue Prescrire and Prescrire International have adopted an editorial process designed to preserve the independence of its editorial staff and the quality and relevance of its editorial content, based on quality controls at multiple levels and broad peer review. Our process differs from that of most peer-reviewed journals, but the quality of the articles we produce has led several major medical journals to cite our publications.

See: > Citations in other journals

Prescrire articles are drafted by members of our editorial staff, under the supervision of our section heads. All our editors receive specific training in this unique editorial process.

Articles are written collaboratively by members of the editorial staff, most of whom are doctors or pharmacists. Authorship of each article is assigned simply to "Prescrire", without explicitly naming the members of staff who contributed to the writing process. The aim of this measure is to shield editors from any outside influence. The members of our editorial team are listed in the masthead of each issue of La Revue Prescrire and Prescrire International, without specifying the individual articles to which each one contributed. Every member of editorial staff signs Prescrire’s "Non merci…" Charter and an annual declaration that they have no conflicts of interest.

The peer-review process employed for articles published in Prescrire is based on a broad panel of outside reviewers. Each review group is tailored to the scope of the theme and includes at least 10 health professionals with a particular interest in the subject, who are involved or specialized in the type of health care discussed.

Prescrire has a database of hundreds of reviewers on whom it can call, with very diverse backgrounds: experienced professionals, methodologists, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, representatives of patient advocacy groups, etc.

Our articles, comprising reviews of the evaluation data available on drugs, diagnostic signs, investigations, screening programs, other preventive measures, etc., and reports on systematic reviews, pharmacovigilance data and healthcare policy and regulation, have well-defined objectives. They are underpinned by our instructions for authors and an explicit search for documentation that is checked by several editors and set out at the end of each article. Each review has a structured abstract that describes the context, presents our objectives, summarizes the results, and finally interprets them and concludes how they can be applied in practice. The body of the article clearly distinguishes the data from their interpretation and contextualization with respect to the data that was already available, so that the evidence base remains coherent as it evolves over time.

See: > How we work

A multidisciplinary, multinational editorial committee

  • Florence Chapelle, PharmD (Belgium) – Editor in Chief
  • Julien Gelly, MD, PhD (France) – Executive Editor
  • Dörte Gunthert, MD, PhD (Germany) – Managing Editor of Prescrire International
  • Antoine Grandvuillemin, PharmD (France) – President of the Publishing Board
  • Séverine Carré-Pétraud, PharmD (France) –Publishing Director

The masthead of each issue of La Revue Prescrire and Prescrire International indicates the names of all the members of the editorial team, as well as the list of the external reviewers who provided feedback on the articles published in that issue.

See: > Masthead of the current issue

©Prescrire April 2024