Role up roll up!
All the way from MHRA to you!
Nothing up my sleeve!
Right before your very eyes!
the new improved PILS!

To those of you not in the know, PIL in this instance stands for Patient Information Leaflets. And the new ‘improved’ leaflets can be downloaded from from the MHRA website.

The difference between a snake oil merchant and someone with a genuine claim to our attention is independent evidence that the claimed for improvement is not only real but worth while.

Now I don’t know if the MHRA has such evidence from testing of these ‘three examples of improved patient information leaflets’. I haven’t seen it and nor has anyone else in the public domain. I know that MHRA have loosely cobbled together something that adapts our guidelines on diagnostic testing in Writing About Medicines For People, and are requiring all manufacturers of medicine to test their leaflets with consumers. So one might suspect that these three examples did well in testing. But when I look at them… I wonder.

The central point is that there is nothing transparent in this approach. The public can neither celebrate nor criticise.

So, my advice to healthcare consumers and those who look after their interests:

Roll up! Roll up!
Enjoy the show!
But DON’T buy.