Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics – multidisciplinary textbook continues to draw on the skills of pharmacists and clinicians to present optimal drug regimens
In both primary and secondary care the use of medicines is the most common intervention in healthcare. Medicines use, however, is not without risk. Drug selection and prescribing is increasingly complex and demanding, and undertaken as part of a multi-disciplinary process that involves pharmacists, some of whom are now prescribers in their own right, along with doctors, nurses and other members of the healthcare team. All must strive to promote safe, appropriate and costeffective prescribing that respects patient choice and promotes adherence. Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics has been written to help the reader understand and address many of these issues. It is unashamedly written from a pharmacy perspective, although we do hope those from other disciplines will also find it of use.
We have made considerable effort to update each chapter and ensure the content is relevant to current practice. Selected website addresses have been included to assist those who want to obtain further information and many references are now available electronically and this has been indicated where appropriate. However, knowledge in therapeutics progresses rapidly, changes to dose regimens and licensed indications are frequent, safety issues emerge with established drugs and
new medicines appear at regular intervals. Yesterday another landmark study was published adding to, or perhaps altering, the evidence base for a specific treatment. Together with the ongoing publication of national guidelines and frameworks, the face of therapeutics is ever changing. It is therefore inevitable that some sections of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics will date more quickly than others.
In practice many licensed drugs are used ‘off label’ or “near label” when prescribed for a certain indication or used in a specific patient group such as children. To omit reference to these agents in the relevant chapter would leave an apparent gap in therapeutic management. As a consequence we have encouraged our authors to present details of all key drugs used along with details of the prescribed regimens even if not licensed for that specific indication. There is, however, a downside to this approach. The reader must always use this text critically and with caution. If this is done the Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics will serve as a valuable learning resource and help the reader understand some of the principles of therapeutics. We hope that, in some small way, this will also assist in achieving positive patient outcomes.