UCL School of Pharmacy


Pharmacoepidemiology And Medication Safety

Researchers in the Pharmacoepidemiology and Medication Safety cluster are engaged in projects that aim to improve safety and benefit outcomes in the use of medicines.

Pharmacists using a stethoscope

We recognise that medicines use should be viewed in the context of wider policy and health agendas. These contexts inform our research programme and the design and execution of individual projects. Our work informs and influences policies to improve professional practice and the use of medicines.

Current research focus areas include:

  • Health and use of medicines using healthcare databases from the perspectives of older and younger people and those with long-term conditions, focusing on cardiovascular disease and medications, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder  and treatment, etc.
  • Methodological research in pharmacoepidemiology and medication safety.
  • Epidemiological research to identify incidence and risk factor of adverse drug reaction (ADR) and medication error (ME).
  • Mixed methods of quantitate and qualitative research in the causes of ADR and ME
  • Development and testing of interventions to improve medication safety. 
  • Influencing policy in improving medication safety and the health of the public.
  • Training the new generation of researchers in pharmacoepidemiology and medication safety.

Research methods: Members of the cluster have expertise in many quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology, medication error research, public health, medical statistics, clinical applications of formulation science, medication management and health services research.

Research settings and collaboration: Research is undertaken in a wide range of settings: tertiary, secondary and primary care, community pharmacies, social care settings and with patients in their own homes. Collaboration with researchers in complementary disciplines, healthcare professionals, voluntary and special interest organisations and representatives of patients and the public is a feature of almost all our projects. These extend to partnerships within UCL, across London, the UK and internationally.

Since joining UCL in 2012, a number of new research collaborations have been established that have led to the development of bids for research and successful projects. For example, we are currently closely collaborating with PharmAlliance, UCL Institute of Digital Health, Farr Institute  and the Centre for Medication Safety and Service Quality (CMSSQ) at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and the Centre for Medicines Optimisation Research & Education at Univeristy College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Seminars: The cluster is keen to support all its researchers, from PhD students through to senior research staff. We arrange a range of seminar activities:

  • A forum for PhD students to share experiences and ideas.
  • Special discussion events focusing on topics or calls that are of interest across the cluster membership. These enable identification of areas of complementary perspectives and expertise in formulating and addressing research questions.
  • Participation in a research department seminar programme with invited internal and external experts.

Teaching: Cluster members are also active in teaching in the school (MPharm, MSc and PhD) as well as contributing to many outside programmes. Our teaching reflects and enables sharing of our research expertise with the healthcare professonials of the future.