Global influence for home grown journal

27 May 2013

A medical journal that started life as a one-man project from an Auckland home has influenced pharmaceutical policy in small nations around the world.

Senior lecturer, Dr Zaheer Babar from the School of Pharmacy at The University of Auckland, was the founding editor of ‘Southern Med Review’.  He began the journal five years ago from home, to promote pharmaceutical policy research at a global level.

This month, the open access online journal will be relaunched as the ‘Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice’ by a new publisher, Biomed Central, based in Oxford.  Editorial control of the journal will stay with Dr Babar and it will remain the property of the University of Auckland’s commercial arm, UniServices.

The Journal’s content was recognised at a global level by the World Health Organisation which stated that the journal ‘fulfilled a global need’.

“Published studies were instrumental in changing medicine policies in some countries, such as Vietnam and Thailand,” says Dr Babar.

“The Journal also published studies on the pharmaceutical situation of countries where little or no pharmaceutical literature is available, including Slovenia, Macedonia and Afghanistan”, he says.

Southern Med Review was a biannual peer reviewed journal and by December 2012 had published more than 70 papers with authors from 45 countries.

Issues covered included access to medicines, (such as medicine pricing policies, patents and affordability) and medicines use, (such as pharmacy practice issues and concerns, socio-behavioural aspects, and drug use).

“The journal is unique in publishing the work of new researchers, documenting the pharmaceutical situation of low and middle income countries, and debating pertinent pharmaceutical policy questions,” says Dr Babar.  “And due its success and to that niche in global pharmaceutical policy, Bio Med Central was interested in relaunching it as a new title.”

“The new journal will focus on the global agenda, including high income economies and will provide a platform for researchers to disseminate empirical research findings with the aim that people everywhere will have access to the medicines they need and use them rationally,” he says.

The Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice will be relaunched online on June 13 th at the new website Editor-in-chief Dr Zaheer Babar can be contacted at

For more information contact:

Suzi Phillips, Media Relations Advisor Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Communications, The University of Auckland Email Tel +64 9 373 7599 ext 87383 or Mob 021416396