We need to be at the cutting edge of relevant science

As a profession, pharmacy has a main focus on medicines. The idea from Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Bill Scott that science, especially chemistry, is of minor importance (The Pharmaceutical Journal 
2014;293:234) is absurd. It is a waste of resources if a university course does not get as close to the cutting edge of the relevant science as possible. We are in the middle of an explosion in knowledge about human biology with new insights on a daily basis of molecular genetics, neuroscience and novel approaches to therapy, including pharmacokinetics. Are we not to understand these developments at the deepest level possible?

As a former chairman of the UK Heads of Schools Committee (HSC), I am delighted about the view that the Pharmacy Schools Council has taken (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2014;293:343). Some decades ago, the HSC refused to formally discuss similar proposals about the removal of science from the pharmacy curriculum. We discussed them informally before our official meeting and decided that to discuss them formally was to give them undeserved credibility.

Michael Brown

Visiting scientist, UCL School of Pharmacy

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 18 October 2014, Vol 293, No 7832;293(7832):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20066731