The importance of clinical pharmacology

By AnthonyLast updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 • Save & ShareOne Comment

Some of you may have noticed the media coverage of the training of doctors in prescribing. I occassionally get involved in assessing medical undergraduates prescribing skills at Birmingham University who have some extremely committed and well-regarded clinical pharmacologists who make sure that prescribing and drug safety is taught. However, the debate about clinical pharmacology in medicine, or rather the increasing lack of it, has been brewing for a few years. Given the increasing interest in drug safety, evidenced by the formation of the NPSA and numerous government documents such as An Organisation With a Memory, it is paradoxical that the key part of medical training that could help improve this situation is under such pressures. We need more clinical pharmacology, not less. And that does not extend just to doctors. Other prescribing professionals should also be given adaquate clinical pharmacology training.

News reports:

Doctors’ drug ignorance putting lives at risk
– The Times.

Bad prescribing puts 5,000 lives at risk each year – The Times.

Lives at risk from the doctors ‘who don’t know their drugs’ – The Scotsman.

Experts warn on dangerous drug-prescribing errors – New Scientist.

Overdosing Doctors – The Daily Telegraph.

Concerns over medics’ drug skills – BBC news.

One Response to “The importance of clinical pharmacology”

Comment from John J. Coupal
Time 25/7/2006 at 5:07 pm

Too many physicians seem to be very sensitive when charges of being insufficiently trained in meds and dosing are leveled at them.

With drugs having complicated dosing – patients with renal impairment for example – some MDs appreciate having clinical pharmacists calculate the dosing.