Medical students and patients have been let down by failure to teach pharmacology as a subject, in many medical schools. Clinical Pharmacologists and students are not happy about the situation and patients are suffering.
Dr John Halliday, lecturer in Pharmacology at Guys, Kings and St Thomas's explains the situation in his talk at the 2004 APRIL charity conference, Adverse Psychiatric Effects of Medicines & Anaesthetics. Professor Angela Clow, Chair of the session, introduced Dr Halliday.
This is a unique opportunity to hear from Dr Halliday the truth about failings in medical education, which will see some improvement by 2013 for undergraduates, after years of campaigning by Clinical Pharmacologists and APRIL charity.
However any improvement in undergraduate medical education now will not make up for the 18 years since 1993, when Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT) was removed from the General Medical Council undergratuate education guidelines 'Tomorrow's Doctors'.
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to everyday medicines and anaesthetics have increased as more and more drugs are licensed. The rate of emergency admissions to hospital due to ADRs increased by 76.8% in 10 years. Some Clinical Trials do not expose the harms that may be caused to some people. Doctors have qualified without being assessed on competence to prescribe and many fail
to recognise symptoms of ADRs. Patients complain they have been prescribed even more drugs to treat the symptoms, without being told to stop the causative drug.