Research and innovation

The specialty of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics has a strong innovation, academic and research culture. In addition to research opportunities during clinical training, trainees wishing to undertake additional research can apply for formal out-of-programme training. For those contemplating an academic career there are now well-defined posts at all levels in the integrated Academic Training Pathway.

Clinical pharmacologists are at the centre of the drug development process. In the early stages of drug development, they provide expertise on the potential desired and undesired effects of a molecule on the target patient population. During the later stages of development, licensing and marketing, clinical pharmacologists support industry and the NHS to ensure the safe use of new drugs in diverse patient populations. They support the development of trials to capture data to demonstrate the benefits of new products over and above existing treatments and competitors.

The British Pharmacological Society's publication A prescription for the NHS (opens PDF, 3.12MB) has further information.

Nationally, clinical pharmacologists have a major influence on the innovative, safe and effective use of medicines. They hold a number of posts within the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), including on the British Pharmacopeia Commission, the Commission of Human Medicines, the Pharmacovigilance Expert Advisory Group and the Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee. The UK’s health technology appraisal organisations, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) and the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) were established by clinical pharmacologists to ensure the best use of NHS resources through the cost-effectiveness of new treatments and making recommendations on their use.