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What is Pharmaceutical Medicine?

testtubePharmaceutical 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 the health of the community.

At core of the discipline is the clinical testing of medicines, translation of pharmaceutical drug research into new medicines, safety and well-being of research participants in clinical trials, and understanding the safety profile of medicines and their benefit-risk balance.

A chart explaining the different stages or 'phases' of drug development can be found here.

In addition to expertise in the science of drug development 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.

Pharmaceutical physicians work in the pharmaceutical industry, drug regulatory authorities and contract research organisations, but have a close affinity with their medical colleagues in primary and secondary health care and at universities.

For more information on pharmaceutical medicine please read this article on the specialty.

International Pharmaceutical Medicine

pillsandglobeDeveloping new medicines and making them available for patients is an international endeavour, and pharmaceutical medicine is a global discipline, demanding good communication with other pharmaceutical specialists, companies and regulatory bodies across the world. Pharmaceutical physicians work within legal and regulatory frameworks, and within ethical and professional codes of medical practice and governance.

A large number of the Faculty's members work abroad and a lot of those who don't will still spend a lot of their time travelling.


Pharmaceutical Medicine as a medical specialty

Pharmaceutical medicine has been recognised as a full medical specialty since 2002. There are currently around 140 doctors undergoing training (PMST) in the discipline.

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 and texts, and embraces new technologies and regulations in pursuit of proof of efficacy, safety and effectiveness of medicines.