If your or a loved one has been prescribed several drugs and you are unhappy about their health, it may be time to evaluate the medicines they are taking. Especially in the case of elderly people where some drugs are not so well tolerated and dosage may be too high. This question was asked at our conference and this very short video includes the response by Dr Andrew Herxheimer, eminent Clinical Pharmacologist and expert in medicines harms and benefits.

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Medical Lectures - Can ADR harms be reduced?



Clinical Pharmacology and knowledge about medicines, how they work and how they can harm is not taught as a matter of routine in all medical schools. This Channel features frank talks by…

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Clinical Pharmacology and knowledge about medicines, how they work and how they can harm is not taught as a matter of routine in all medical schools. This Channel features frank talks by Clinical Pharmacologists, the NHS chair of Pharmacogenetics and others.
The sessions took place at a conference that was not funded in any way by the Pharmaceutical Industry, thereby allowing frank discussion about failings in medical education and other matters.
For personal stories and discussions please refer to APRIL Charity videos by clicking on APRIL Vimeo Plus at bottom of this column, or on the web site april.org.uk

Speakers included in this channel include:

Professor MUNIR PIRMOHAMED - Clinical Pharmacologist and NHS Chair of Pharmacogenetics Liverpool University

Professor Pirmohamed leads a multidisciplinary team comprising eleven scientists, researchers and nurses. The team collects genetic information to test against medication for illnesses such as epilepsy and asthma, which can be affected by a patient’s genetic make-up. They build a detailed clinical picture of individual patients and their response to particular drugs, and link this to genetic profiles with the aim of maximising the efficacy and reducing the potential toxicity of treatments. This will inform the development of treatments tailored for individual patients.

Professor SIMON MAXWELL - Senior lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology Edinburgh University & Physician

Professor Maxwell is Director of the teaching programme in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Edinburgh University. He has been active in developing eLearning strategies to support learning in this area for local undergraduates, is a co-editor of the continuous professional education programme for senior clinical pharmacologists in the UK, co-author of the core curriculum for clinical pharmacology in UK medical schools and is co-chairman of the EACPT Education Committee.

Dr ANITA HOLDCROFT MB ChB, MD, FRCA is a Reader in Anaesthesia and Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Dr Holdcroft has authored textbooks on 'Body Temperature Control in Anaesthesia, Surgery and Intensive Care' (1979) and ‘Principles and Practice of Obstetric Anaesthesia’ (2000) and has a special interest in pain in women. She was the first Secretary (1999-2002) and is now the Co-chair (2002-2005) of the Special Interest Group on Sex Gender and Pain of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Her research has lead to invited lectures and presentations in Europe and North America and she contributes as a Board member and Editor of Europain and its associated Journal. Dr Holdcroft is the elected President of the Forum on Maternity and the Newborn at the Royal Society of Medicine, London. It was her original research that lead to the findings of brain changes during parturition and to the development of an MRC multicentre clinical trial of cannabinoids in postoperative pain (CANPOP).

Professor Chrystal HEATHER ASHTON DM, FRCP is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Professor Ashton is a graduate of the University of Oxford and obtained a First Class Honours Degree (BA) in Physiology in 1951. She qualified in Medicine (BM, BCh, MA) in 1954 and gained a postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (DM) in 1956. She qualified as MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1958 and was elected FRCP (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1975. She also became National Health Service Consultant in Clinical Psychopharmacology in 1975 and National Health Service Consultant in Psychiatry in 1994.

She has worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne as researcher (Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor) and clinician since 1965, first in the Department of Pharmacology and latterly in the Department of Psychiatry. Her research has centred, and continues, on the effects of psychotropic drugs (nicotine, cannabis, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and others) on the brain and behaviour in man. Her main clinical work was in running a benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic for 12 years from 1982-1994.

At present she is involved with the North East Council for Addictions (NECA) of which she is former Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee on which she still serves. She continues to give advice on benzodiazepine problems to counsellors and is patron of the Bristol & District Tranquilliser Project. She was generic expert in the UK benzodiazepine litigation in the 1980s and has been involved with the UK organisation Victims of Tranquillisers (VOT). Professor Ashton has submitted evidence about benzodiazepines to the House of Commons Health Select Committee. She has published approximately 250 papers in professional journals, books and chapters in books on psychotropic drugs of which over 50 concern benzodiazepines. She has given evidence to Government committees on tobacco smoking, cannabis and benzodiazepines.

Professor DAVID HEALY Head of sub-department
Department of Psychological Medicine & Neurology
Cardiff University School of Medicine, North Wales

following information from Wikipedia:
David Healy became the centre of controversy concerning the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medicine and academia. For most of his career Healy has held the view that Prozac and SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) can lead to suicide and has been critical of the amount of ghost writing in the current scientific literature. Healy's views led to what has been termed “The Toronto Affair” which was, at its core, a debate about academic freedom.

See the page on Wikipedia re discussion on whether SSRI antidepressants and Neuroleptic drugs can cause suicide, whether the ADR of Akathisia leads to suicides etc and your opinion will be of interest to APRIL charity - This Channel consists of talks which took place at APRIL organised conference 2008 april.org.uk

Dr JOHN HALLIDAY Pharmacology and therapeutics senior tutor Guys’ King’s College and St Thomas’ London.

John Halliday was the winner of the 2006 Medical Education Committee (MEC) award for his outstanding contribution to the pastoral care of medical students. John Halliday has been Senior Tutor for Years 1 & 2 of the MBBS programme since 1998.

For personal stories and discussions featuring the Professors and the public, please refer to APRIL Charity videos by clicking on APRIL Vimeo Plus at bottom of this column, or on the web site april.org.uk

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