President's message: a thrilling lecture and the PSA independent review

Published: 18 Jul 2019
Category: President's message

I have two updates for you in today’s blog, covering two different areas of the Society’s diverse work.

President’s Lecture

The British summer weather may be notorious for its unpredictability, but it didn’t let us down on 25 June for the annual President’s Lecture. There was glorious evening sunshine in the garden at the Royal College of Physicians, where we caught up with old friends and welcomed new members ahead of Dr Nessa Carey’s talk.

When Nessa confirmed the title of her lecture, “Big Pharma: why even the best science may not be enough to save it”, I knew we could expect a lively presentation. She is known for her vociferous views, and I suspected that she wouldn’t shy away from naming the urgent challenges that pharmaceutical companies face.

The lecture certainly didn’t disappoint!

Nessa’s enthusiasm for industry and new science was palpable as she clearly set out the obstacles and why they matter not only for “big pharma”, but for everyone. But while she was realistic about the problems, she was also hopeful that things can change if we take a team approach to moving forward and invest in the younger generation.

Nessa has moved from academia, to industry and then to popular literature with such skill; it was fascinating to hear her insights. The audience seemed to think so too, as they discussed their own experiences and posed thoughtful questions, wrapping up a fantastic evening.

To see a full report on the President’s Lecture, be sure to read the next issue of Pharmacology Matters, which will be out in August.


PSA Independent Review

On 1 July we published an independent review of the Prescribing Safety Assessment, our online assessment of competency in the safe and effective prescribing of medicines, that we run with our partners at MSC Assessment.

I’m delighted to say that the independent reviewer, Professor John McLachlan, found that the assessment increases the attention paid by students and faculty to accurate prescribing. He also reported that the assessment allows them to demonstrate competencies in the safe and effective use of medicines. He called the Prescribing Safety Assessment “a high quality process that will undoubtedly contribute to patient safety in the future”.

After years of investment and collaborative effort, it is deeply encouraging to see the beneficial impact that the PSA is already having, and the recommendations in the review are a great motivator for the next stage in this journey.

Do take a look at the independent review, and don’t miss the accompanying commentary in the Lancet by Professors David Webb and Simon Maxwell.

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