What Is Clinical Pharmacology

Clinical pharmacology is the study of drugs, and their use and the processes of applying them to everyday life. Clinical pharmacology helps us discover medical breakthroughs and effects of using a particular drug on a set group of people. The objective of clinical pharmacology is to make sure that the doses people take are safe, and to lower complaints of side effects as well as medical malpractice lawsuits against those who administer the drugs.  The need for very tough training in the medical and scientific field enables them to gather proof and come up with new information on existing or new drugs by understanding the drug's structural make-up and their interactions with the human body.

Clinical pharmacologists can help to develop drugs and often work in a research capacity to help broaden the base of knowledge that clinical pharmacologists pull from.  Some organizations that are devoted to the research of pharmacology include the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, the UCLA Interdepartmental Clinical Pharmacology Training Program and the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), a pharmacological group based in the United Kingdom that started in 1931 and primarily researches drug use effects.

Clinical pharmacologists also work in formulary development, or in other words coming up with the formulas for drugs in the laboratory and/or applying them by designing and carrying out the studies on drug effects.  Clinical pharmacologists can work privately for a drug company or be practicing doctors themselves, applying their knowledge of pharmacology in positions from general internists to specialists in areas such as cardiology.  Clinical pharmacologists can teach in medical schools on topics ranging from methodology to ethics to toxicology.

In addition to studying the causes in application or pharmacology toxicology and technological advancement, clinical pharmacologists are often involved in policy development to find the good and bad in medicine and health practices, and transfer the good practices into law, both on the domestic front and internationally.  Not surprisingly, clinical pharmacology has political implications that are studied by organizations like the UCLA Interdepartmental Clinical Pharmacology Training Program (mentioned earlier), which focuses on study related to primarily women and children.  Clinical pharmacology professionals remain aware of the latest advancements through membership in professional organizations and by subscribing to pharmacology journals. 

Clinical pharmacology is a very important branch of medicine that helps to get the best cure and best dosage for each illness. Without it, people would not be aware of overdosage or underdosage and their effects. Who knows: In the next few years you might hear of a medicine that can completely cure cancer, AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease. It would be a triumph for the doctors, the scientists and most of the entire human race. People who are part of groups who study clinical pharmacology should be proud of what they are doing to benefit the rest of the world.


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