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North Wales Medicines Research Symposium 11th July 2016

Delegates from health service and academic institutions across Wales attended the fourth NWMRS at Bod Erw, St Asaph. 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 Robin Ferner, of the University of Birmingham. His presentation on ‘Medicinal aspects of murder’ provided a fascinating insight into the world of forensic toxicology, and the importance of basic pharmacological principles when interpreting the outcomes of suspected poisoning.

Dr Emily Holmes of Bangor University’s Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation presented the main findings of a discrete choice experiment conducted as part of a European project concerning medication adherence. Her research indicated that patients are willing to trade benefits for reduced harm in order to persist with their medications.

Dr Thomas Caspari from the School of Medical Sciences at Bangor University described how low glucose concentrations may help cancer cells to survive because of changes to the DNA damage response kinases. His research findings may shed light on the observation that some Ataxia telangiectasia patients, who have mutations in ATM kinase, suffer from diabetes type 2.

Dr Catrin Plumpton of Bangor University’s Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation presented an economic evaluation of HLA-B*58:01 testing in patients with gout. Allopurinol can causes severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions which is associated with the presence of the HLA-B*58:01 allele. While testing is expected to reduce the rate of cutaneous ADRs from 0.8 to 0.38 per 10,000 patients, it may not represent good value for money to the NHS.

The need to strengthen preregistration recruitment was highlighted by Joanne Kember, presenting the findings of research commissioned by the Welsh Centre for Professional Pharmacy Education. Following a 5-phase qualitative methodology, the evaluation demonstrated the need to use more robust and highly standardised assessment procedure for recruitment, which might be delivered on an all Wales basis.

Posters were presented on the use of antipsychotic medicines for inpatients with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia; patients’ preferences for anti-epileptic drugs; on societal preferences for funding orphan drugs in the UK; on the potential cost, time and wastage benefits of switching to subcutaneous trastuzumab (Herceptin) administration; on whether CRP analysers reduce antibiotic prescribing in primary care; and on a ‘proof of concept’ study on the use of topical gabapentin (GabaGelâ„¢) for neuropathic pain.

The meeting was jointly funded by Bangor University, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the Gogledd Cymru North Local Practice Forum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and Health and Care Research Wales.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Bangor University Royal Pharmaceutical Society Wales

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