DEMENDE e-learning project: tackling respiratory disease

Posted on: Wednesday 3 April 2024
Author: William Booth

How to cite:

Booth, W (2024), ‘DEMENDE blog’, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, 3 April 2024. Available at: [Link]

This blog article has been prepared by William Booth

Deputy Chief Executive, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

In early 2022, FPM embarked on an important project to support understanding of the best use and deployment of treatments for COVID-19. The landscape was changing, and the Omicron variant had recently become the dominant strain. Although Omicron was highly transmissible, it tended to cause milder infections and result in fewer hospitalisations. This was in the context of the approval of several treatments for COVID, including Evusheld, approved by the MHRA on the 17 March 2022.

FPM organised the DEfining MEdical NeeDs and Evidence (DEMENDE) workshops, which brought together stakeholders from across government, regulators, academia and the life sciences. As the membership and standard-setting body for pharmaceutical physicians, FPM was well placed during the pandemic to offer thought leadership and galvanise expertise from across the profession. FPM’s status as an independent ‘safe harbour’ facilitated open, wide-ranging and highly productive discussions during the workshops.

The DEMENDE COVID-19 Workshop: Report and Recommendations was subsequently published. The report outlined a range of recommendations, across four main themes:

  • Planning together – what do we need to do in research and development to deliver treatments across the lifecycle of a pandemic for different populations
  • Working together – delivering therapeutics to patients
  • Learning together – sharing information and education
  • Reflecting together – improving for the future

One of the most important recommendations, and one that FPM is committed to taking forward, is to enhance the understanding and knowledge of optimal prescribing and deployment of antiviral therapeutics, including those for COVID-19. Indeed, this need has since been strengthened by discussions with several patient groups to improve understanding of the correct diagnosis, symptomatology, deployment and prescribing of COVID therapeutics across healthcare professionals, in order that all patients are able to access the right medicines at the right time.

That work is moving ahead now in the form of the development of a series of e-learning modules for healthcare professionals, including general practitioners (GPs), specialist doctors, especially those working in e.g. intensive care medicine, geriatric medicine, oncology etc., and nurses. The content for the modules has been written by a team of subject matter experts in the field, working under the auspices of a clinical lead, Dr Cynthia Wat, and with feedback and support from FPM’s Infectious Disease Expert Group. The project is being managed by the FPM staff team, in association with a team of third-party instructional designers.

Four modules are currently in development:

  • Overview
  • Coronavirus
  • Influenza
  • RSV

The first module is designed as the introduction to some of the common themes and issues, including the definition and symptomology of acute respiratory infection, epidemiology and pathogenesis, seasonality and spread. Then, modules 2 to 4 will delve into greater detail into each of the three infections examined, including the burden of disease, symptomology and diagnosis, management and treatment options, and guidance from the UK Government, NICE and others.

The material includes the use of case studies and a host of interactive features including Q&A, click and select, pop-ups, “drag and drop” exercises and others, as well as links to external resources.

Please note that the final content may vary and these examples are provided for illustrative purposes only.

Writing of the content for all four modules is nearing completion, beta testing and review of the first module will be completed shortly and storyboarding and development of the remaining three modules is on track for our projected launch in early July. We will be talking more about the project as we nearer completion and once all the content goes live in time ahead of this autumn’s seasonal spike in respiratory diseases. All four modules will be available to healthcare professionals to access, without charge, on FPM’s Learning Management System, FPM Learning Hub.

Financial support has been provided to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine as a grant from Pfizer Ltd. Pfizer Ltd have no involvement in the content development.

If you’d like to learn more about the project, please contact Jocelyn Richards at

William Booth
Deputy CEO, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine