Specialty spotlight – clinical pharmacology and therapeutics

Listen to Dr Reecha Sofat, senior lecturer and honorary consultant in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, discuss her specialty with Dr James Fullerton, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) clinical lecturer and specialist registrar in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics.

Introduction to clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT)

Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (CPT) focuses on the safe, effective, and economic use of medicines. It is a diverse and wide-ranging discipline that plays an essential role across multiple areas of the NHS, contributing to its organisational objectives and, most importantly, improving patient outcomes and experiences. CPT is also key to increasing the interaction between industry and the NHS.

The specialty of CPT makes a major contribution to the health and wealth of the nation by:

  • improving patients’ lives by developing new medicines and by ensuring that new and existing medicines are used safely and effectively
  • providing general and specialist medical services, often as part of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, in hospitals and the community
  • bringing unique benefits to the UK’s academic and life sciences sectors, attracting investment and improving care in the NHS for the benefit of patients.

Professor Una Martin, University of Birmingham:

Clinical pharmacology is a fascinating specialty which has offered me terrific opportunities during the course of my career. I have particularly enjoyed delivering a hypertension service, running the clinical research facility, and influencing how we prepare our medical students for their lives as prescribers.

Training and working in clinical pharmacology

Clinical pharmacology resources

RCP Resources

Historical highlights from the library, archive and museum collection

In the 20th century, RCP fellows were instrumental in establishing pharmacology as a modern specialty, in its teaching and in the regulation of pharmaceuticals, often combining clinical practice with committee work: RCP fellows and the history of pharmacology in the 20th century