Professor Penny Ward
The COVID-19 pandemic provided an opportunity for many of our members to use their expertise to contribute to the national response. At the forefront of this was Professor Penny Ward, a Fellow of FPM, Chair of the FPM Education and Standards Committee, Chair of the FPM Policy Expert Group, and a Visiting Professor in Pharmaceutical Medicine at King’s College London. Her contribution has helped to educate and inform the public and policymakers, as well as raise the profile of FPM and the specialty of pharmaceutical medicine.
Prof Ward has published several extensive blog articles on our website which have helped the public understand coronaviruses and their treatments. The first blog, in April 2020, focused on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 and attracted huge readership numbers (over 30,000 in the first six months) and it even ranked very highly on google search (e.g. page one for the term ‘what is sars-cov-2?’). A second blog followed soon after and focused on the development of COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral drug development. Four (and counting!) further articles authored by Prof Ward and published by FPM have resulted in a unique body of academically robust, accessible articles which have contributed to the understanding of COVID-19.
In addition to the blogs, Prof Ward has also responded to dozens of media requests on the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. Her quotes have appeared in local, national and international news coverage.
In addition to her extraordinary work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof Ward has also provided a steady hand as chair of the FPM’s Education and Standards Committee and was integral to the development of the online Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine exam, and supporting trainees and FPM members in their training and education during an extremely challenging year.