Pharmaceutical medicine

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Pharmaceutical medicine is the medical scientific discipline concerned with the discovery, development, evaluation, registration, monitoring and medical aspects of marketing of medicines for the benefit of patients and public health.[1][2][3] All medical specialties overlap to some extent, and likewise the boundaries of pharmaceutical medicine are elastic. But, at its centre is the clinical testing of medicines, translation of pharmaceutical drug research into new medicines, safety and well-being of patients and research participants in clinical trials, and understanding the safety profile of medicines and their benefit-risk balance. Pharmaceutical physicians work in the pharmaceutical industry, universities / medical schools, drug regulatory authorities and contract research organisations, but have a close affinity with their medical colleagues elsewhere.

As a postgraduate medical discipline, pharmaceutical medicine has a recognised international syllabus, training courses with examinations and qualifications, its own research methodologies, professional bodies and academic societies, journals[4] and texts, and embraces new technologies and regulations in pursuit of proof of efficacy, safety and effectiveness of medicines.

Pharmaceutical medicine is a listed medical specialty in the UK,[5] Ireland, Switzerland[6] and Mexico.[7] This official recognition is underlined by the availability of accredited education and training of specialist pharmaceutical physicians and the establishment and maintenance of standards of practice and professionalism in the competency, care and conduct applied to their work and of growing public recognition and accountability. In the UK, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians provides accreditation for the specialty.

The basics of pharmaceutical medicine are founded on the knowledge and understanding of how drugs work, the limitations and variability of response to therapies, and how therapies can be used optimally in clinical practice. In addition to expertise in basic research, drug development and evaluation, clinical trials and registration, pharmaceutical physicians need a thorough understanding of pharmacoeconomics, medical aspects of the marketing of medicines, business administration and the social impact of healthcare on patients and public health.[8]


  1. Stonier PD, Silva H, Lahon H (2007). "Pharmaceutical medicine: history, global status, evolution and development". Int J Pharm Med. 21 (4): 253–262.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. "International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians".
  3. "Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine".
  4. Pharmaceutical Medicine. Link text
  5. Daniels S (2011). "Pharmaceutical Medicine in the UK". Pharm Med. 25 (1): 1–5.
  6. Traber M, Althaus B (2010). "Pharmaceutical Medicine in Switzerland". Pharm Med. 24 (2): 75–81.
  7. Cohen-Munoz V, Llopiz-Aviles M, Llorens F; et al. (2010). "Pharmaceutical Medicine in Mexico". Pharm Med. 24 (4): 211–218. Explicit use of et al. in: |author= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Stonier P, Baber N (2000). "Clinical pharmacology and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine". Br J Clin Pharmacol. 49 (6): 523–524. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.2000.00202.x.

Portions of content adapted from Wikipedias article on Pharmaceutical medicine licensed under GNU FDL.

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