UCL School of Pharmacy hosts event to shape drug therapy for older patients

2 August 2013

The average life expectancy has increased in recent years but this now brings a new set of priorities for the patient, for the doctor and for the researcher. It is important for the patient/carer to be represented at different stages of the research process. They should also be able to get involved in identifying research that is important and relevant.

With this aim, Dr Mine Orlu-Gul hosted a one day workshop on 2nd July 2013 at the UCL School of Pharmacy entitled “How to improve medicines for older people”. The clear benefit of a workshop like this one is not only for the research professional but also for the patient. 78 people from a variety of backgrounds attended this event to voice their views on what features of geriatric drug therapy should be prioritised. The workshop was funded by a UCL Beacon Bursary and received tremendous support from both the UCL Public Engagement Unit and Age UK London. Parkinson`s UK and Alzheimer's Society also gave their support to the event.

The scene was set with presentations from UCL School of Pharmacy staff. Professor Felicity Smith, Dr Catherine Tuleu and Dr Bahijja Raimi-Abraham spoke on the use of medicines at home, formulations, administration devices and medicine packs. Ms Katarzyna Stawarz, PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, gave a presentation on errors and resilience strategies in the use of medicine. This encouraged participants to share common errors, and also sparked a lively debate on their suggestions for improving geriatric drug therapies. The morning session was followed by parallel group discussions facilitated by the workshop facilitators: Dr Macey Murray, Dr Li Wei, Dr Liz Jamieson, Ms Noha Iessa, Ms Oksana Pyzik and the UCL Public Engagement Coordinator, Ms Kimberley Freeman. Subsequent opinion sharing sessions witnessed fruitful discussions between older people, carers and researchers. Representatives from various bodies were present. Thanks in particular to the representatives from the European Medicines Agency, Dr Nasir Hussain from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Dr Sven Stegemann, Chair of the Geriatric Medicines Society, and also Bridget Fordham, Lead Nurse for Dementia at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, who participated in the panel session by giving their invaluable opinions on medicines for older adults. During this final session, participants had the opportunity to raise their questions, concerns and recommendations in more detail.

This workshop has created a useful forum for the public to have a say in improving medicines for older people and for researchers to share the latest research innovations with them.

Older patients drug therapy workshop

Page last modified on 02 aug 13 14:45