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North Wales Medicines Research Symposium 1st July 2015

Delegates from health service and academic institutions across Wales attended the third NWMRS at the Faenol Fawr Hotel, Bodelwyddan. The evening was hosted by Professor Dyfrig Hughes from the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) at Bangor University. The symposium programme is available from here.

The meeting was opened by keynote speaker Professor Andrew Farmer, of the Department of Primary Health Care Sciences at the University of Oxford. His presentation on ‘Medicines non-adherence: managing a complex problem’ covered the range of approaches that have been used to improve medication adherence, and the issues and pitfalls involved. He concluded with an insight into the findings of recent work among patients in South African townships using tailored text messages.

Dr Jenny Halliwell of Bangor University’s School of Chemistry gave a fascinating insight into potential therapies of the future, describing the use of patented, magnetic nanoparticle directed enzyme prodrug therapy (MNDEPT) in the management of cancer. She also discussed the development of nanoparticle technology with applications in other areas such as the diagnosis of tuberculosis and detection of botulinum neurotoxins.

Janet Thomas from the Pharmacy Department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital described the considerable work put into a cross-sector organisation-wide initiative aiming to reduce admissions from medication-related acute kidney injury. Based on a need identified by pharmacists involved in acute admissions, this culminated in the development of a leaflet now being provided to patients at potential risk by key workers in primary care.
The role and influence of nationally agreed prescribing indicators (NPIs) in promoting prudent prescribing in Wales was presented by Professor Phil Routledge on behalf of the All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre. Key accomplishments included an increase in the level of generic prescribing in Wales to now being the highest in the UK, and an increase in use of agents of choice as opposed to alternative non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.

Finally, Dr Colin Ridyard from CHEME at Bangor University presented an economic evaluation of the use of antibiotic-impregnated central venous catheters in paediatric intensive care setting. There were fewer blood stream infections in those randomised to antibiotic-impregnated catheters, but at a high incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of antibiotic versus standard catheters.

Posters were presented by contributors from hospitals, health boards and academic organisations across Wales.  Subjects included the optimisation of topical gabapentin formulations for neuropathic pain; a protocol for continuous infusion of vancomycin to achieve therapeutic levels in critical care patients; and the development of a list of Welsh cautionary and advisory labels for prescription medicines. Several covered areas of health psychology, including the usefulness of health psychology and behavioural economic theories in predicting adherence to medications; use of self-attribution of facial appearance as a predictor of treatment response for depression; and factors influencing smoking behaviour in young females. Posters relating to orphan drugs included their review and recommendation by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group, and ongoing work on societal views of their funding.

The meeting was jointly funded by Bangor University, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and the Local Practice Forum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.


Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Bangor University Royal Pharmaceutical Society Wales

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