About the Department
The Department of Pharmaceutics and Social Pharmacy is one of the four academic departments in the School of Pharmacy. It is comprised of two major streams, namely, Pharmaceutics and Social and Administrative Pharmacy. Pharmaceutics is a field of study in pharmacy that encompasses many subject areas which are associated with the steps to which a drug is subjected towards the end of its development. To put it in its most simplistic way, pharmaceutics converts a drug into medicine, which is a means of administering drugs to the body in a safe, efficient, reproducible and convenient manner. Pharmaceutics is thus concerned with the scientific and technological aspects of the design and manufacture of dosage forms; it includes an understanding of the basic relationship between physical, chemical and biological sciences necessary for efficient design of dosage forms and drug action; the design and formulation of stable medicines; the manufacture of these medicines; the utilization of microorganisms in pharmacy as well as the preservation of medicines against microbes.
Social and Administrative Pharmacy on the other hand is concerned with ensuring that the drugs marketed for public use after extensive research spanning more than ten years and costing hundreds of millions of dollars achieve their intended objectives and that resources are not wasted. This area of pharmacy is mainly concerned with the knowledge and understanding of a range of topics relevant to the practice of pharmacy including pharmacy management, ethical and legal aspects, evidence-based practice, and the historical aspects and the roles of modern pharmacists.
In addition to offering professional courses to the undergraduate program of the school, the Department is also running full-fledged postgraduate programs: M.Sc. in Pharmaceutics (established in September 1998) and M.Sc. in Pharmacoepidemiology and Social Pharmacy (established in February 2005); in addition, the Department has launched new PhD programs in Social and Administrative Pharmacy (as of the 2009/10 academic year) and Pharmaceutics (as of the 2010/11 academic year).
Research areas of the Department include: development of new and alternative pharmaceutical excipients from local sources, formulation of phytopharmaceuticals, development of controlled release dosage forms, bioequivalence studies of locally available products and pharmaceutical process validation studies. The social and administrative pharmacy researches are mainly on health systems research, with particular emphasis on drug utilization review, social and economic determinants of health care utilization, and ethnopharmacological and ethnopharmaceutical studies.