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Boehringer gets ‘kite mark’ for health information

First pharma company awarded The Information Standard Certification in UK
Boehringer Ingelheim headquarters

Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim has become the first pharma company to be awarded The Information Standard (TIS) certification for the healthcare information it provides to patients, their families and carers.

The certification, which covers materials published in England, serves as a 'kite mark' for the standard of information provided by companies and organisations, acknowledging the content has undergone rigorous assessment by an independent authority

Commissioned by NHS England and run by Capita, the TIS is intended to help people identify what health and care information is clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based and up-to-date among the sea of content they have access to.

The risk of accessing misleading has escalated in recent years due to improvements in technology and people increasingly turning to search engines rather than reliable sources of data to find health information.

“With so much information available now, it is vital the public be able to differentiate between information that is and isn't trustworthy,” said Ann Robinson, director of public awareness for The Information Standard.

“The public just need to check for the easy-to-spot quality kite mark on the leaflet or website to know that the health information produced by that organisation can be relied upon,” she added.

Organisations signed up to the TIS include charities, such as the Alzheimer's Society and the British Liver trust, private healthcare provider Bupa and many NHS trusts, but Boehringer is the first pharma company to add its name to the ranks.

Dr Charles De Wet, the company's medical director for the UK and Ireland, told PMLiVE the decision to apply for the TIS was to “make it clear to patients and their families and carers that the information we provide is of high quality”.

Ultimately this can help ensure better patients outcomes, according to Dr De Wet: “We are committed to providing a holistic approach to care. And to do so, it's vital that all parties have the right information at the right time.”

The process of applying for the TIS has also led Boehringer to update the way it produces information.

“We have had to relook at the whole process,” said Dr De Wet. “We have created a panel of patients and carers to review our materials and provide feedback. You could almost say they are an advisory board. That's the key change – having an actual end user help feedback on what we are communicating.”

Boehringer's success in obtaining the TIS could also pave the way for other pharma companies to follow.

“I know there has been interest from a number of companies in how to apply. And Baxter is currently in the process of being certified.”

Article by
Thomas Meek

12th June 2014

From: Marketing, Healthcare

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