North Wales Medicines Research Symposium 2013
About 50 delegates attended the first North Wales Medicines Research Symposium, chaired by Professor Dyfrig Hughes, on 16th July. The two themes were drug safety and patient preferences. Keynote speaker, Professor Munir Pirmohamed of the University of Liverpool, highlighted the burden to the NHS of adverse drug reactions, which account for 6.5% of all hospital admissions, and occur in 14.7% of adult inpatients. He presented comparably alarming figures from recent research in children.
Among the research presentations, Jen Smyth, senior pharmacist from Wrexham Maelor Hospital, described a study in which neonatal gentamicin dosing was improved through use of pharmacokinetic modelling. Also from the Wrexham Maelor, patient safety pharmacist, Janet Thomas, presented an in depth analysis of 94 cases of suspected antimicrobial-related admissions which resulted in 14 MHRA yellow card submissions. Dr Catrin Plumpton of Bangor University presented an economic analysis of pharmacogenetic screening prior to initiation of carbamazepine for epilepsy. About 5% of patients prescribed carbamazepine experience hypersensitivity adverse drug reactions which can be life threatening. Testing for the presence of HLA-A*3101 has prognostic utility, and is likely to be cost-effective use of healthcare resources.
On the theme of patient preferences, North Wales lead pharmacist for renal services, Anke Hagemi, used a discrete choice experiment to assess renal transplant patients’ preferences for secondary care prescribing of immunosuppressants. While home delivery was the preferred option, preferences was influenced by waiting time and delivery frequency. Dr Colin Ridyard, health economist from Bangor University, presented the results of a systematic review of patient preferences for subcutaneous medicines compared with other methods or routes of drug administration. The review identified important differences but there was insufficient evidence to support the notion that preference translates to better adherence.
The final presentation was by Mair Davies, Chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board, who gave an overview of the RPS Faculty and its support for research and evaluation. A number of poster presentations highlighted the diverse research and evaluation activities across North Wales.
The symposium was organised by Dyfrig Hughes, Co-Director of Bangor University’s Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Research, Anne Bithell, Chief Pharmacist, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and Alan Hughes, Lead Administrator of the North Wales Pharmacy Practice Forum.