Reflecting on a Year of Progress: The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine’s Expert Group Outputs in 2023 and Beyond

Posted on: Friday 15 March 2024
Author: Chairs of the FPM Expert Groups

How to cite: Abbas-Hanif et al. (2024), 'Reflecting on a Year of Progress: The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine's Expert Group Outputs in 2023 and Beyond’, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, 15 March 2024. Available at: []

This blog article has been prepared by Dr Allyah Abbas-Hanif, Dr Claire Barton, Dr Tony Lockett, Dr Bruno Rosen, Dr Penny Ward, Dr Cynthia Wat and Dr Kirsty Wydenbach.

In 2023, the newly structured Expert Groups of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine demonstrated their commitment to advancing healthcare and shaping the future of medicine through a series of impactful outputs. They are currently part of FPM’s Policy & Communications Group. A full list of all expert groups and their members can be found here. The groups have recently been busy planning for the year ahead, so read on to find out more!

The Clinical Trial and Science Regulation Expert Group, chaired by Dr Kirsty Wydenbach, played a pivotal role in contributing to the global health dialogue and engaging in consultations on crucial matters such as the WHO’s guidance for best practices in clinical trials and the International Council for Harmonisation’s Good Clinical Practice Guidelines. Their insightful blogs on the state of clinical research in the UK kept the community informed about what effects recent updates to the industry will have, fostering a deeper understanding of the field.

The Infectious Diseases Expert Group, led by newly appointed chair, Dr Cynthia Wat, actively participated in consultations addressing COVID-19 and influenza vaccination delivery, emphasising their dedication to public health. Additionally, their World AIDS Day blog, “From Crisis to Hope: A Journey in HIV Care”, written by Dr Wat, in collaboration with FPM’s Policy Coordinator, Flora Butler, not only shared personal experiences but also shed light on the group’s commitment to raising awareness. The E-learning activities (DEMENDE project) have continued to be developed to educate UK physicians and other healthcare professionals on the differential diagnosis and treatment of respiratory infections; COVID-19, influenza and RSV (covering newly approved vaccines & treatments). In order to support the group’s busy schedule of activities, they have been actively seeking new members to join their ranks, with four new members joining in February.

New Technology Group, under the leadership of newly appointed chair Dr Bruno Rosen the group is defining its area of interest, matching FPM’s needs and participants’ interests and possible levels of involvement. The group has presented a concept paper that focuses on three key areas: artificial intelligence, drug monitoring and biomarkers – game changing examples of innovation in pharmaceutical medicine. The group is going to define potential projects in due course.

The Paediatrics and Women’s Health Expert Group, chaired Dr Allyah Abbas-Hanif, actively contributed to the healthcare landscape by responding to public consultations on updated service standards for Medicines Management in Sexual and Reproductive Health Services. Their involvement in the FSRH Hatfield Vision Task Force underscores their commitment to improving healthcare outcomes for women and children. The team have also continued to engage with various key stakeholders during 2023 (MHRA, ABPI, BHP, AMS) to ensure progress continues in one of their main focus areas: pregnancy drug development.

The Rare Diseases Expert Group under its newly appointed Chair, Dr Tony Lockett, demonstrated a multifaceted approach to treating rare diseases, as highlighted in their Jeans for Genes Day blog. By engaging in public outreach, they increased awareness and understanding of rare diseases, paving the way for innovative solutions and improved patient care. The rare diseases expert group also engaged in consultations about the Rare Disease Framework papers, and also is a major contributor to the NICE sponsored exercise on Standards in Rare Disease Management. They have also just convened a very topical and highly thought-provoking lunchtime meeting on the opportunities and responsibilities in the use of AI in rare diseases.

UK and International Health Policy and Drug Safety Group, chaired by Prof Penny Ward, continued to respond to issues as requested by the FPM Board concerning international policy, new regulations or pharmacovigilance matters, worked with the Clinical Trials expert group to comment on the revised clinical trial regulations in the UK and tracked information coming from the MHRA, NICE, or DHSC.

The Oncology Expert Group, chaired by Dr Claire Barton, contributed to the DHSC’s call for evidence on the Major Conditions Strategy, a substantial undertaking that you can read more about here. The group also contributed to the FPM Conversation, Exploring New Frontiers in Cellular Therapies for Cancer, in October 2023.  Looking ahead, 2024 in oncology will be marked by the impactful FDA’s Project Optimus, which emphasises early-stage dose and schedule assessment for improved patient outcomes. FDA’s Project Optimus guidance on the evaluation of combination therapies is awaited. The FDA’s recent draft guidance on Master protocols and focus on AI and cybersecurity align with the industry’s technological advancements. Similarly, CHMP’s 2024 plan prioritises digital qualifications, AI, and patient-centric initiatives.

As we reflect on the accomplishments of FPM’s Expert Groups in 2023, and consider their plans for the future, it is evident that their dedication to collaboration, innovation, and patient-centric care is shaping the future of pharmaceutical medicine and advancing healthcare globally.