APRIL Conference 2008 april.org.uk

Professor Munir PIRMOHAMED MB ChB PhD FRCP, qualified in Medicine in 1985, undertook a PhD in Pharmacology in 1993, and was appointed Consultant Physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in 1996.

He was awarded a Personal Chair in Clinical Pharmacology at The University of Liverpool in 2001, and in 2007, was appointed to the NHS Chair of Pharmacogenetics. His main area of research is in pharmacogenetics and drug safety. Adverse reactions to drugs are a major cause of illness in the population. The research aims to maximise the benefits of drugs and minimize their harms. This is being achieved through the use of different strategies ranging from improvements in prescribing to the development of genetic and other tests for predicting and monitoring individual susceptibility to toxicity.

Professor Munir Pirmohamed’s Liverpool study of: Adverse drug reactions (ADR’s) as a cause of admission to hospital: prospective analysis of 18,820 patients was an invaluable study to show the extent of ADRs in the community.

The study however excluded paediatric, psychiatric and maternaty emergency admissions.


Professor Munir Pirmohamed and the research team found 6.5% of the emergency admissions were due to ADR’s with a median bed stay of 8 days (4% of hospital bed capacity) costing in the region of £466m or $847m. Most reactions being avoidable.

The team concluded the burden of ADR’s on the NHS is high, accounting for considerable morbidity (iatrogenic illness), mortality (deaths) and extra costs.

Title of presentation in session 1: The pressing need for pharmacogenetics

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