Making the most of medicines

Our evidence-based interventions yield genuine behavioural change.

Our expertise

Founded and led by Professor Rob Horne (UCL Professor of Behavioural Medicine), Spoonful of Sugar applies behavioural science to help patients and healthcare professionals to get the best from effective treatments by enhancing adherence and optimising health outcomes.

We collaborate with clients who value a patient-centric approach to improving adherence and engagement.

Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.
Former US Surgeon General, C Everett Koop

Our track record

Our proven behavioural science tools and approaches are based on 25 years of world-leading research. This research has informed national and international guidelines, policies and reports regarding adherence, including the NICE Medicines Adherence Guidelines, a WHO adherence report and British HIV guidelines.

Example publications

NICE guideline

Medicines adherence: involving patients in decisions about prescribed medicines and supporting adherence clinical guideline. [CG76]

Horne R, Chapman SC, Parham R, Freemantle N, Forbes A & Cooper V (2013)

Understanding patients’ adherence-related beliefs about medicines prescribed for long-term conditions: a meta-analytic review of the Necessity-Concerns Framework. PLoS ONE, 8(12)

Horne R, Cooper V, Wileman V & Chan A (2019)

Supporting Adherence to Medicines for Long-Term Conditions. European Psychologist, 24(1), 82-96.

Horne R (2019)

Decision about medicines: scientific evidence in context. Academy of Medical Sciences. (invited paper)

Our approach

First, we understand the issue or challenge. Then, using our proven frameworks and findings from our powerful Behavioural Insights Research, we create bespoke solutions and effective interventions. Applying personalised approaches, we address the perceptions and practicalities influencing individuals’ motivation and ability to adhere to treatment and health advice. We motivate and enable behaviour change, improving adherence, and ultimately health and economic outcomes.

Our clients

We can help those in healthcare who face behavioural change challenges. We offer support to those who need to understand current behaviours and drive change to a new paradigm. While many of our clients come from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, our solutions can support other organisations too.

Our approaches can and have been applied across a wide range of long-term conditions including asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and infectious diseases, as well as in cancers and rare diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

How can we help you?

Why us?

As a UCL business company, we combine the power of world-class research in behavioural science with the experience of developing pragmatic programmes in the healthcare sector. This means we understand the challenges of – and develop meaningful solutions aimed at – changing treatment behaviour.

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Want to know about how we could help you make more of your medicine?

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Our specialists

We have unrivalled international links and collaborations across the full spectrum of behavioural science. We draw upon expertise specific to the needs of each project to ensure you have the best team the world of behavioural science can offer.

Professor Rob Horne, BSc, MSc, PhD, FRPS

Founder and Director

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Tony Hobman, BA

Finance and Operations Director

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Liz Reader, BSc

Client Services Director

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Helen Lycett, BSc, MSc

Programme Manager

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Nicola Duckworth, BSc, PhD

Senior Business Strategist

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Sian Davis, MBA

Senior Account Director

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Vanessa Cooper, BSc, MSc, PhD

Senior Consultant

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Caroline Katzer, BSc, MSc

Behavioural Scientist

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Emily McBride, BSc, MSc

Behavioural Science Consultant

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Lizzie Fletcher


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Sidra Saeed, BSc, MSc

Associate Behavioural Scientist

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Mike Hobday, MBA, FIBC, ACIB

Non-executive Director

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Kyla Allan, BSc, MSc

Senior Account Executive

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Janet Johnson, BSc

Senior Strategic Consultant

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Amy Chan, BSc, MSc, BPharm (Hons), PhD

Senior Researcher

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Our matrix team

The core team is enhanced by a matrix team of international consultants in behavioural medicine.

Want to join our inquisitive team?

We’re looking for behavioural scientists with a passion for harnessing their skills to create behaviour-change programmes designed to make the most of medicines. In return, we offer the opportunity to work with world-class experts in a fast-growing and ambitious company with a strong vision. We’d love to hear from you!

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