Skip to main content



June 2021

By Pharmaceutical Press

A tribute to Robert Twycross – Honouring a 50-year career in hospice and palliative care

This year Robert Twycross has achieved a landmark distinguished 50-year career in Palliative Care.  One of the founding authors of Palliative Care Formulary, now available through MedicinesComplete, Robert continues to lend his expertise to this essential resource as Honorary Editorial Consultant. Most recently, with Andrew Wilcock and Claire Stark Toller, Robert has fully revised the introductory text for training medical students and qualified health professionals in the specialist area of Palliative Care, Introducing Palliative Care.

This year Robert reaches two significant milestones, celebrating not only his 80th birthday but achieving a landmark distinguished 50-year career, dedicated to furthering our understanding of effective pain management and the use of drugs in hospice and palliative care.

Having graduated from Oxford University Medical School with a BMBCh in 1965 and then attaining his MRCP, he went to work under Dame Cicely Saunders in 1971, as Clinical Research Fellow at St Christopher’s Hospice. His subsequent work into the efficacy of the ‘Brompton Cocktail’, led to its quick demise and adoption of a more rational approach to cancer pain management. For this he was awarded the Oxford University higher degree of Doctor of Medicine. A founder member of the International Association for the Study of Pain, Association for Palliative Medicine (UK), Palliative Care Research Society (UK), British Lymphology Society and European Association for Palliative Care, Robert has taught in up to 50 countries and held many senior academic titles from around the world.

The recipient of a wealth of honours including Life Memberships and Lifetime Achievement awards, Robert has written over 300 articles, chapters and editorials and is author and/or editor of several books.

With Andrew Wilcock, Robert founded in 2000 to promote and disseminate information about the use of drugs in palliative care, through the Palliative Care Formulary.

The book which has since become the core text for the specialty of Palliative Medicine in the UK, was first published in 1998 with 250 pages and has grown in over six subsequent editions to 939 pages with the publication of PCF7 in 2020. Following the success of PCF and after Robert’s ‘retirement’ in 2018, PCF was acquired by Pharmaceutical Press, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s knowledge business, and the content was made available through the online platform MedicinesComplete, as well as in print, with Robert listed as Honorary Editorial Consultant.

His birthday and career milestones notwithstanding, Robert continues to inspire and inform the profession. Carrying the positions of Emeritus Clinical Reader in Palliative Medicine, Oxford University as well as Honorary Editorial Consultant, Palliative Care Formulary, he authors papers and speaks at events. Robert Twycross has been instrumental in helping to open up the field of pain medicine, palliative care and research. At Pharmaceutical Press we are pleased to honour and celebrate his achievements and his unwavering dedication to improving knowledge in this specialist area.

Read more about Palliative Care Formulary


MedicinesComplete is aimed at health professionals and assumes a level of professional training to interpret the information on this site. Information on the selection and clinical use of medicines is designed for prescribers, pharmacists and other health professionals and is not suitable for patients or the general public. All information should be interpreted in light of professional knowledge and supplemented as necessary with specialist publications, and all users are responsible for ensuring appropriate use or reliance on such information. Although RPS make reasonable efforts to update the information on MedicinesComplete, RPS make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content is accurate, complete, or up to date. So far as permitted by law, RPS will not accept liability for damages, in any form, arising from or in relation to MedicinesComplete, or for a temporary inability to access this site. For more information please see our Website Terms and Conditions. © The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 2024. Copying of MedicinesComplete content without permission is not permitted.

Access the essential knowledge you need today

Medicines Complete.

Instant online access to our essential knowledge 24/7

Book a demo

Pharmaceutical Journal.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s official journal


Pharmacy Knowledge.

Trusted knowledge and revision for tomorrow's pharmacists


Research Journals.

High impact research in pharmaceutical sciences