Recent developments within the National Health Service have led to an increase in personnel 'qualified' to prescribe a wide range of pharmacological agents. A short (38-day) Continuing Professional Development course in prescribing is deemed adequate to fully train individuals for practice. A sound understanding of prescribing medicines has important implications for patient benefit. For example, a prescriber would require some knowledge of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, as well as aspects of drug delivery and drug-drug interactions. Drug metabolism in particular exerts a powerful influence on drug action; this can range from complete failure of efficacy through to life-threatening toxicity. Moreover, it is conservatively estimated that there may be several thousand deaths each year in the UK arising from an inadequate knowledge of drug metabolism when prescribing medicines. This one-day course focused on the importance of understanding drug metabolism on treatment strategies and outcomes, and was accessed by a range of healthcare professionals in the West Midlands area of the UK. © 2007 Informa UK Ltd.
- adverse drug reactions
- treatment outcomes