Listen to Dr Reecha Sofat, senior lecturer and honorary consultant in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, discuss her specialty with Dr James Fullerton, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) clinical lecturer and specialist registrar in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics.
Introduction to clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT)
Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT) focuses on the safe, effective, and economic use of medicines. It is a diverse and wide-ranging discipline that plays an essential role across multiple areas of the NHS, contributing to its organisational objectives and, most importantly, improving patient outcomes and experiences. CPT is also key to increasing the interaction between industry and the NHS.
The specialty of CPT makes a major contribution to the health and wealth of the nation by:
- improving patients’ lives by developing new medicines and by ensuring that new and existing medicines are used safely and effectively
- providing general and specialist medical services, often as part of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, in hospitals and the community
- bringing unique benefits to the UK’s academic and life sciences sectors, attracting investment and improving care in the NHS for the benefit of patients.
Professor Una Martin, University of Birmingham:
Clinical pharmacology is a fascinating specialty which has offered me terrific opportunities during the course of my career. I have particularly enjoyed delivering a hypertension service, running the clinical research facility, and influencing how we prepare our medical students for their lives as prescribers.
Training and working in clinical pharmacology
- You can find more information on the training pathway from the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board.
- Learn more about the recruitment and interview process by visiting the ST3 recruitment page.
Clinical pharmacology resources
- British Pharmacological Society
- Clinical pharmacology in the NHS – British Pharmacological Society
Royal College of Physicians. Medical Care – clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, developing physicians
- Clinical Medicine articles:
- Muktar O, Jackson SHD. Drug therapies in older adults (part 1). Clin Med 2015;15:47–53.
- Muktar O, Jackson SHD. Drug therapies in older adults (part 2). Clin Med 2015;15:155–9.
- Higgins B, Williams B. Pharmacological management of hypertension. Clin Med 2007;7:612–6.
- Breckenridge A. William Withering’s legacy – for the good of the patient. Clin Med 2006;6:393–7.
- Feely J, Barry M. Adverse drug interactions. Clin Med 2005;5:19–22.
- Clinical Medicine CME clinical pharmacology section (2009):
- Maxwell S. Rational prescribing: the principles of drug selection. Clin Med 2009;9:481–5.
- Noren GN, Edwards IR. Modern methods of pharmacovigilance: detecting adverse effects of drugs. Clin Med 2009;9:486–9.
- Hughes D, Reynolds DJ. Pharmacoeconomics: principles and relevance to the activities of drug and therapeutics committees. Clin Med 2009;9:490–2.
- Pirmohamed M. The applications of pharmacogenetics to prescribing: what is currently practicable? Clin Med 2009;9:493–5.
- Ross S, Loke YK. Training good prescribers: what are the best methods? Clin Med 2009;9:478–80.
Historical highlights from the library, archive and museum collection
In the 20th century, RCP fellows were instrumental in establishing pharmacology as a modern specialty, in its teaching and in the regulation of pharmaceuticals, often combining clinical practice with committee work: RCP fellows and the history of pharmacology in the 20th century.