Top five research articles of 2020

Top 5 Research articles

Despite the significant challenges this year has posed, The Pharmaceutical Journal has continued to publish high-quality peer-reviewed research.

Our researchers have made a range of investigations — from evaluating pharmacist interventions using the Simpler tool in Malaysia, to a pharmacist-led virtual thiopurine clinic to support people with inflammatory bowel disease and auto-immune hepatitis, here in the UK.

We have some exciting research coming up in 2021, but in case you missed them the first time around, here are the top five most popular research articles of 2020:

5. Misuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs to obtain illicit highs: how pharmacists can prevent abuse

Use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs for recreational purposes is increasing, and this perspective article collates the existing literature to provide an in-depth overview of the misuse and diversion of a range of drugs with psychoactive potential, including gabapentinoids, antihistamine drugs and loperamide.

4. Effective detection and management of hypertension through community pharmacy in England

Community pharmacists can play a big role in managing hypertension — from the identification of medication-related problems, to providing lifestyle advice. Despite this, they are not routinely involved in structured hypertension management or screening programmes. So, this review summarises the evidence to recommend the roll-out of a community pharmacy-led hypertension management service.

3. Recent advances in the oral delivery of biologics

Oral administration of medicines is often preferred by patients for its convenience, but, for biologics, the gastrointestinal tract poses challenges for administering in this way. This review discusses the advantages and limitations of several novel drug delivery strategies, and highlights the work to be done to put this technology into clinical practice.

2. Immuno-oncology agents for cancer therapy

Immuno-oncology is a novel treatment that works by conditioning the body’s immune cells to recognise and kill cancer cells — combining this treatment with conventional therapies has led to promising improvements in patient outcomes. This review looks at the range of immuno-oncology agents, and how problems such as their toxicity and high cost can be overcome.

1. Investigational treatments for COVID-19

The emergence of COVID-19 resulted in a global research effort to find effective treatment options to relieve healthcare burdens and, ultimately, save lives. In June 2020, this rapid review summarised the clinical trials and treatment evidence at the time.

Check out The Pharmaceutical Journal’s 
‘Everything you should know about the coronavirus outbreak’ for the latest on this continually evolving situation.

Find the full catalogue of articles in our research section.

Call for submissions

In 2021, 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:

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Top five research articles of 2020;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2020.20208656

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