Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics in a changing world

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A report of a working party of the Royal College of Physicians

This report, published in 1999, describes in detail the work of clinical pharmacologists in the NHS, in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Wide ranging activities include;

  • the clinical care of patients
  • clinical toxicology
  • the use of medicines in the community (pharmacoepidemiology)
  • drug safety (pharmaco-vigilance)
  • the economics of prescribing (pharmacoeconomics)
  • advice to government agencies on the licensing and use of medicines
  • the teaching of undergraduates and postgraduates
  • research, and new drug evaluation within the pharmaceutical industry. 

Strong recommendations are made for the specialty to be strengthened by training more clinical pharmacologists and by employing them to optimum advantage, for example in training both medical students and doctors as part of their continuing professional development, by involving them in cost-effective prescribing and by creating joint appointments and training opportunities between industry, universities and the NHS.


  • Introduction and terms of reference
  • The NHS
  • In the university setting
  • The pharmaceutical industry
  • Training
  • The advisory role to government and its agencies
  • The relationship to other specialties in medicine and the healthcare professions
  • Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendices

The report is available to download as a pdf.

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