Drug Profile

A guide for authors submitting to the Expert Collection

expert-review-logoScope: Expert Review articles have been engineered specifically for the online environment. The structure is designed to draw the time-constrained reader directly to the information they require. Four features in particular contribute to the unique value of Expert Review articles:

  • Expert commentary
  • Five-year view
  • Key issues
  • Information resources

Aim: The aim of a Drug Profile is to provide a concise review of the pharmacology, clinical efficacy and tolerability of a drug. Authors are encouraged to provide a critical appraisal of the most important and up-to-date information and provide their own viewpoint on the role of the drug in clinical practice.

Focus: Authors should restrict their discussion to licensed indications and it is recommended that national/regional regulatory product guidelines are followed, particularly in terms of indications and dosage. When a drug is discussed outside of its approved license, readers should be made aware of this fact in the first instance.

For investigational drugs not yet licensed for any indication, the manuscript should make reference to this from the outset.

Audience: The audience for the Expert Review series consists of clinicians, research scientists, decision-makers and a range of professionals in the healthcare community. Authors should bear in mind the multidisciplinary status of the readership when writing the article.

Word limit: The word limit for Drug Profiles is 3,000-7,000 words (not including tables, figures and references).

Timing: Several factors contribute to the selection of drugs to be reviewed, including scientific need, emergence of new important clinical data, market launches, approval of new indications, and the requirement for an alternative appraisal of the literature. Timing is critical and it is important that the deadlines set by the Commissioning Editor are met. However, if you feel there is a need to delay publication, for instance to discuss new data presented at a scientific meeting or to coincide with the publication of primary literature, the Commissioning Editor will be happy to accommodate such requests.

Every article must contain:

Title: Should be concise but informative, including the drug and therapeutic indication. Titles should not contain brand names

Authors’ names and addresses: Including address, academic qualifications and job titles of all authors, as well as telephone number, fax number and email address of the author for correspondence on a separate cover sheet as the peer reviewers will be blinded to the authors’ identity. Please note that only the address of the first author of the article will appear on Medline/PubMed, not necessarily the corresponding author.

Structured abstract (maximum 200 words): The aim of the abstract is to draw in the interested reader and provide an accurate reflection of the content of the paper. We therefore request the following structure is followed for full-length review articles:

  • Introduction: Authors are required to describe the significance of the topic under discussion.
  • Areas covered: Authors are required to describe the research discussed and the literature search undertaken.
  • Expert commentary: The author’s expert view on the current status of the field under discussion.

Keywords: A brief list of keywords, in alphabetical order, is required to assist indexers in cross-referencing. The keywords will encompass the therapeutic area, mechanism(s) of action, key compounds etc.
Introduction: Incorporating basic information on disease incidence and prevalence, unmet medical need and present treatment guidelines (highlighting regional variations where appropriate).

Body of the article:

  • Overview of the market:
    • What are the unmet needs of currently available therapies?
    • Which competitor compounds/classes of compounds are in the clinic/late development?
  • Introduction to the drug:
    • Chemistry
    • Pharmacodynamics
    • Pharmacokinetics and metabolism
  • Clinical efficacy:
    • (Phase I studies)
    • Phase II studies
    • Summary table of Phase I and II trial results
    • Phase III studies
    • Summary table of Phase III trial results
  • Post-marketing surveillance:
    • Safety and tolerability, including a table summarizing safety outcomes in clinical trials, and a table comparing the characteristics of the rug with its competitors.
  • Regulatory affairs:
    • Include information on the status of the drug, i.e., where it is currently approved, in which countries it is approved and for what indications. This should cover Europe, US and rest of the world where appropriate.
  • Conclusion: An analysis of the data presented in the review.

Expert commentary: To distinguish reviews published in the series of journals, authors must provide an additional section entitled Expert commentary. This section affords authors the opportunity to go beyond the conclusion and provide their interpretation of the data presented in the article, discussing any improvements the drug has over currently available therapies and how likely physicians are to convert to treatment with the drug. In addition there is the opportunity to discuss the developments that are likely to be important in the future and the avenues of research likely to become exciting as further studies yield more detailed results (i.e. what are the prospects for combination therapies?).

Five-year view: Authors are challenged to include a speculative viewpoint on how the field will have evolved five years from the point at which the review was written.

Key issues: An executive summary of the authors’ main points (bulleted) is very useful for time-constrained readers requiring a rapidly accessible overview.

Information resources: A brief summary to direct the reader to the most important further reading, related articles and relevant websites.

Annotated bibliography
Important references should be highlighted with a one/two star system and brief annotations should be given (see the journal Information for Authors page for examples and for a more detailed description of our referencing style).