The Clinical Practice and Medicines Use research group carries out research on the evaluation, optimisation and risk associated with medicines and recreational substances. Within the context of Kings Health Partners, and its commitment to supporting translational research which meets patients’ needs, this group researches a number of key stages in the use of medicines from clinical trials of efficacy through to investigations of prescriber and patient factors, which result in sub-optimal use and misuse of medicines and related substances. This work focuses on a number of key themes:
1. Medicines Evaluation:
The work of David Taylor (Professor of Psychopharmacology) and colleagues continues to focus on evaluating the efficacy and safety of psychotropic medication for patients with a wide range of mental health problems. This work informs the use of medicines on an International scale as his research underpins the “Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry”, now on its 11th Edition, having sold over 150,000 copies worldwide and available in 7 languages.
The work of Dr Jignesh Patel has led to the creation of the Anticoagulation Reference Centre (a joint venture between the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and the Thrombosis Centre, King’s College Hospital) which undertakes pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling research to inform national and international guidelines on the optimal use of both conventional and novel oral anticoagulants, especially in specific patient sub-groups such as the obese, the very elderly and expectant mothers.
2. Treatment Adherence:
John Weinman (Professor of Psychology as Applied to Medicines) and Vivian Auyeung (Lecturer in Medicines Use) explore relationships between treatment adherence, patient beliefs and health behaviours. Their work has been widely published on a range of issues relating to key predictors of non-adherence to medicines and other treatments, across a range of conditions as a basis for developing interventions. In addition they have investigated the relationship between the information patients receive about their medicines and how they are used. Their current research programmes focuses on the design and testing of a range of interventions within the King’s Health Partners environment whilst others involve wider testing in conjunction with Atlantis Healthcare, a global leader in web-based solutions for patient adherence and support.
3. Medication Risk:
Research investigating health care professional and patient factors which play a role in the development of adverse drug events. Graham Davies (Professor of Clinical Pharmacy & Therapeutics) is leading a group researching the prediction of medication-related problems in the elderly and whether these approaches can be integrated into routine practice to improve patient management. This involves psychometrically testing models to predict the adverse effects of medicines in the elderly before evaluating their impact on patients. This work is now part of a multi-centre (NIHR; RfPB) study across hospitals within the south of England.
4. Substance abuse – including alcohol, smoking and drug abuse:
Professor Kim Wolff’s (Reader in Addiction Sciences) group has led on the use of biomarkers of substance misuse in different populations (high risk drivers; smokers, clubbers and those receiving methadone treatment including pregnant women) to aid assessment by healthcare practitioners. This work has resulted in a change in national policy for relicensing of high risk drink drivers by the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency.