One of Bayer's innovative plain language summaries has been recognised at the Pharma Awards USA 2021.
Over the past couple of years, plain language summaries (PLS) have steadily gained traction in medical and scientific industries. These jargon-free sum-ups of complex publications make the latest research in an array of scientific disciplines accessible to lay audiences, meaning that patients and other non-specialists can stay up to date with a variety of treatments, techniques, and practices.
This year, Reuters Events' Pharma Awards USA celebrated the benefits of PLS by presenting the multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer with the 'Most Valuable Awareness Initiative Award' at the 2021 ceremony. This award celebrates Bayer's PLS on ARAMIS, a Phase three trial of a prostate cancer treatment. The award celebrates the initiative that best raises the profile and visibility of a disease, cause, health concern, population, or treatment.
Bayer worked with patients to write the PLS, which the peer-reviewed medical journal Future Oncology has published with full open access and an animated video. Future Oncology publishes unbiased, cutting-edge information in emerging scientific and medical trends for a diverse audience that includes research professionals as well as patients.
Bayer's Plain Language Summary of the ARAMIS Prostate Cancer Study
Bayer's award submission, 'Making Scientific Research Available to Prostate Cancer Patients and Caregivers in an Accessible and Understandable Format to Inform and Educate', has demonstrated the benefits that PLS can bring to the medical arena. These benefits include greater transparency, diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity for patients, their advocates, non-specialist healthcare professionals, healthcare policy experts, journalists, and the general public. The company's unique approach to its PLS places patient voices at the forefront of the summary, optimising patient education and helping patients understand trial results.
In summer 2021, Bayer representatives attended the Drug Information Association (DIA) global annual meeting and the European Association of Urology (EAU) annual meeting, where they discussed different PLS formats and gave examples of best practices in communication to improve cancer patients' medical experiences. Now, in light of the positive impact the ARAMIS PLS has seen, Bayer will continue to write patient-focused publications and team these with digital enhancements. The pharmaceutical company will also continue to offer opportunities for patient advocates to share their perspectives on medical developments.
Understanding Plain Language Summaries
Plain language summaries combine content written in everyday language with images, infographics, and other media inclusions to convey complicated information in simple terms. This way, lay audiences can access and understand the kind of information that was previously only available in scholarly publications. Lay audiences don't need to read the scholarly publications before they read the PLS versions. These standalone publications are no less nuanced or accurate than the original content. Instead, the summaries rephrase complex phrasing and unfamiliar terms with plain language. In fact, the same authors often write the original content and the PLS versions.
Even specialist practitioners can benefit from reading PLS, as these summaries make complex concepts much easier and quicker to consume and understand. Often, PLS break down information like the results of clinical trials for approved treatments and vaccines, patient preference studies and patient-reported outcomes, investigational products for patients who have limited treatment options, and systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.
Future Science Group's Plain Language Summaries
Future Oncology is a Future Medicine journal, and Future Medicine is an imprint of Future Science Group. The progressive publisher produces open-access PLS as standalone summaries and as supplementary information in its journals. The concept of PLS is still relatively young in the medical publishing industry, but Future Science Group makes the summaries widely available across its 34 peer-reviewed publications. The Group also maximises accessibility to PLS by producing translations of several summaries, tagging each with a digital object identifier (DOI), and sharing each PLS with relevant patient organisations.
Future Science Group also publishes diverse formats of PLS to extend the reach of these publications to broad audiences. The group's PLS include a range of simple visuals like images, graphs, infographics, and short videos. Future Science Group emphasises that visual elements of PLS are as important as textual content and has developed a template to help writers decide where graphics and icons could make their PLS more interactive and easier to read.
About Future Science Group
Future Science Group oversees the publication of industry-leading journals that voice the latest in scientific and medical updates. Journals like Future Oncology, BioTechniques, Regenerative Medicine, and Nanomedicine curate and publish the resources that scientific communities need to keep up with changes in their fields. To date, Future Science Group has published more than 50,000 articles and received over 5 million article downloads. The Group also runs several digital hubs for scientists of all disciplines to join eCommunities and partake in outcome-driven discussions that are essential to medical progression