A major goal of the life sciences industry is to put pharmacological agents into clinical practice. Careers in the pharmaceutical industry require a basic understanding of clinical pharmacology. The course attempts to provide a general framework on which to fit future specialized knowledge encountered during a career in the various biomedical fields. Some of the subjects addressed are: underlying principles of pharmacology and clinical biology, assessing and weighing benefits and risks, how physicians select therapies for a given disorder, how side effects are assessed and dealt with, and how issues of cost and compliance are handled. The emphasis will be on a concepts rather than individual drug details, though representative drugs will be explored in detail. An attempt is made to present pharmacology, which tends to be detail oriented, in a unique and interesting manner. The course seeks to be not boring. The course will provide a review of drug use in the most important disease categories, a physician’s perspective on issues of cost, marketing, the clinical trial process, and the pharmaceutical industry. The first semester will consist of an introduction to the basics of academic clinical pharmacology and underlying principles of clinical biology, and how physicians view drug testing and marketing. The second semester will survey the major disease categories and how drugs fit into treatment regimens.
By the end of the course students will be familiar with:
Principles of pharmacokinetics, toxicity, and mechanisms of action
Principles of medical biology
Considerations in selecting a type of therapy
Assessment of drug benefits and risks
Basic pathophysiology of some of the most common diseases
Basic properties of the major drug classes