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Evidence based medicine

Evidence based medicine (EBM) is the key to the success of modern medicine. It is the ongoing process of using the most reliable evidence from clinical research, scientific understanding and medical practice to make the best possible medical decisions for patients. EBM is how medicine advances and how we get improvements in life expectancy and quality of life. It not only identifies which treatments are effective but also those which are ineffective and may do more harm than good, and identifies areas where more investigation is needed and where there may be gaps in knowledge.

We feel the promotion of EBM has lost public momentum and want to restate the case for it. We want to give EBM a stronger public presence by communicating more widely the relevance and importance of evidence-based medicine to public health. We launched Evidence Based Medicine Matters opinion board at the 40th anniversary of the Medicines Act (1968) to popularise the contribution of EBM to modern medicine. Scientific and medical bodies have also been encouraged to share and explain their view on evidence-based medicine with a wider public.

In April 2013, 20 medical Royal Colleges and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society made a commitment to evidence based medicine. The colleges worked with Sense About Science and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to launch a booklet, Evidence Based Medicine Matters of case studies of 15 of the game changers in evidence based medicine in their fields. Read more about Evidence Based Medicine Matters.