Top five most popular research articles of 2019

Top five most popular research articles of 2019

This year, our peer-reviewed research content received more than 400,000 unique page views. Articles covered a range of investigations, from pharmacy’s role in preventing medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw or suicide, to the markers that predict poor adherence to treatment for opioid use disorder.

Polypharmacy has been a big focus, too. In 2018, we called for submissions of original research on best practice in polypharmacy and medicines optimisation and, this year, we published a series of articles on this topic.

We have some exciting research coming up in 2020, but in case you missed them the first time around, here are the top five most popular research articles of 2019:

5. Impact of including clinical indications on inpatient prescriptions

The clinical indication for a prescribed medicine in secondary care is not always clear, accurate or easy to locate in a patient’s medical notes. As such, it can be difficult to assess the appropriateness of the medicine. This mixed-methods study (involving semi-structured interviews with 64 chief pharmacists, 11 focus groups from three NHS trusts, and a medical documentation review of 89 patients) determined the implications of including clinical indications on healthcare professionals’ clinical workflow.

4. The precision medicine approach to cancer therapy: part 1 — solid tumours

In this new genomic era of medicine, healthcare professionals must have a sound working knowledge of not just the available precision medicines, but also the biomarkers targeted and the pharmacogenomic tests to detect them. This review focuses on predictive biomarkers, with some examples of predisposition, diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers. It brings together the anticancer agents that have been approved for use in the UK as part of a precision medicine approach for solid tumours, along with information relating to the relevant biomarkers and available biomarker assays.

3. Substandard and falsified medicines: global and local efforts to address a growing problem

With the introduction of the falsified medicines directive in February 2019, pharmacists and healthcare professionals need to understand how substandard and falsified medicines affect practice and have a detrimental effect on global health. This article provides a rounded and comparative insight into substandard and falsified medicines for healthcare professionals. It also summarises the limitations to our knowledge and the effect of these medicines on public health in high-income countries and low-to-middle-income countries.

2. Responding to disruptions in the pharmaceutical supply chain

This year has seen high-profile coverage of worsening medicines shortages for hormone replacement therapy and adrenaline autoinjectors in the UK. There have been many discussions around the causes of these shortages, with Brexit considered to be only one aspect in the complex global medicine supply chain.

This research article used a mixed-methods approach to study the response actions taken after a disruption had occurred, specifically in the secondary care acute hospital sector — an area that has been largely ignored in previous research. In November 2019, the article’s author, Paul Morris, spoke to the current affairs radio programme
File on 4 about the work as part of an episode on drug shortages

1. Antidepressants in the treatment of major depression: a changing landscape for clinical decision making

Treatment of a moderate-to-severe major depressive episode will usually involve an antidepressant, but there is uncertainty around which medicine, or class of medicines, represents the best initial option. This perspective article examines the findings of the landmark Cipriani et al. meta-analysis in the wider context of the management of depression in the UK.

Find the full catalogue of articles in our research section.

Call for submissions

In 2020, The Pharmaceutical Journal will keep adding to the evidence base with review, perspective and research articles. If you have undertaken research into innovations and initiatives that can improve pharmacy services and administration, the pharmacological management of disease, or advances in drug development, please submit your article for consideration by email to:

Feedback on the The Pharmaceutical Journal’s research offering is always welcome — please email: or send me a tweet @natasha_leeson

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Top five most popular research articles of 2019;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20207474

You may also be interested in