RPS Winter Summit to focus on science and innovation

The summit is a brand-new event focused on scientific research and education. The overarching theme of this year’s event is ‘Bridging the gap between industry, academia, policy and practice’.

Gino Martini, chief scientist for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Artificial intelligence and big data may not traditionally be associated with pharmacy, but these are just two of the innovations up for discussion at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) inaugural Winter Summit.

The summit, which takes place in London on 5 December 2017, is a brand-new event focused on scientific research and education. The overarching theme of this year’s event is ‘Bridging the gap between industry, academia, policy and practice’, and the full programme for the day has now been released.

Four aspects of pharmaceutical research and education will be explored in depth throughout the day.

Gino Martini, the RPS’s new chief scientist, senior medical adviser at Shire Pharmaceuticals and visiting professor of pharmaceutical innovation at King’s College, London, will chair a session on new medicine innovations. The summit will be “an exciting opportunity to listen to breakthrough innovation in real time,” he said, and session attendees will “hear about the latest developments in artificial intelligence and how it can help healthcare practitioners detect diabetes without taking a blood sample; how open innovation is assisting drug discovery; and the use of clever tools to monitor a drug product’s performance.”

He added that the session would also highlight the challenges in developing, and making available, medicines for patients with rare diseases.

Martini said speakers from academia, industry and from the medtech start-up community will also update delegates on the latest in translational medicine.

According to Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, the summit “underpins the Society’s commitment to the evidence base for pharmacy and the role of pharmacists in leading research, education and innovation”.

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The chief executive officer of RPS, Paul Bennett, said that the summit would show RPS’s commitment to leading research, education and innovation. He also highlighted it as an opportunity to interact with leaders and experts from across the sector

“It offers delegates the opportunity to engage with leaders and experts from across the sector who will be speaking on the day. Through our poster sessions and short oral presentations, delegates will also hear first-hand from professionals who are leading research across the pharmaceutical sciences. Allowing new evidence to be presented to a senior audience of practitioners and policy makers is a vital step in promoting and further developing evidence based pharmacy. As a scientific profession, innovation supported by rigorous research is an essential part of what we do.”

Derek Stewart, professor at the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University and chair of the RPS Conference Abstract Review Panel, will chair a session on innovations in medicines use, which, he said, promises delegates three expert perspectives from industry, practice and research, followed by a question and answer session.

The session will explore key issues for policy and practice including orphan drug pricing, novel therapeutics and pharmacist led interventions.

Stewart added that “given the emphasis on integration within the undergraduate curriculum, this event is long overdue”.

Peter Kopelman, former principal of St George’s, University of London, welcomed “the renewed focus by the RPS on science, education and training, particularly in the context of the expanding importance of pharmacists in both delivering and researching health care.”

Kopelman will chair a session on the pharmacy workforce of the future, including a thought leadership perspective on science in the MPharm degree.

The prioritisation of workforce development, allowing individuals to fulfil their own personal aspirations and ambitions, is a timely move by the RPS, Kopelman said, given the “changing demography of ill health in Great Britain and the technologically driven advances in medicines”.

Christine Bond, emeritus professor in primary care at the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen and chair of the RPS’s Pharmaceutical Science Expert Advisory panel, will chair a thought leadership session on better medicines, with a focus on Health Informatics. The session will, Bond said, “consider the ways in which big data could be used to improve our understanding of how to maintain population health, the effectiveness of current approaches to treating illness, the role of pharmacy data and the inherent limitations of the different approaches”.

Looking ahead to the summit as a whole, Bond said that it “provides a rare opportunity for stakeholders from across the spectrum of pharmacy to hear about innovations in drug development, drug delivery, and drug use as well as consideration of the future workforce needed to translate our research vision into practice”.

Among other speakers at the event is Sarah Slight, reader in pharmacy practice at Durham University, who received the RPS Practice Research Award at the 2017 Society annual conference. The keynote speech, ‘Open innovation and drug discovery — the structural genomics consortia story’, will be delivered by Chas Bountra, professor of translational medicine at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine.

Places at the summit may be reserved on the RPS website. Discounted ‘early bird’ fees apply until 18 September 2017.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, September 2017, Vol 299, 7905;299(7905):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203571

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