Donal Reddington on mass customization, crowdsourcing and digital manufacturing


British healthcare conference to focus on personalized medicine

The 2006 British Pharmaceutical Conference (www.bpc2006.org) has as its theme personalization in healthcare.  Hundreds of pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists and researchers will convene at the Manchester International Convention Centre from 4-6 September.   The BPC is the largest pharmacy event in the UK.

Organised by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) the conference will link ground-breaking scientific discovery with the practical aspects of delivery to the individual patient.  The conference will feature many internationally renowned speakers from academia, the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS addressing topical issues such as:

- Pharmacogenetics in personalised medicine.

- Personalised medicine and drug development

- Public health: pharmacists and pandemics

- Hot topics for hospital pharmacy in a changing NHS (The UK National Health System)

- Moving from supplementary to independent prescribing

Colin Ranshaw, Chairman of the Conference Committee for BPC 2006, says: “Developments in pharmacogenomics and the growth of self-care in patients has led to an increasing focus on the development and delivery of personalised medicines and patient-led health care.  This has major implications for all areas of pharmaceutical science and practice.  BPC 2006 will explore these issues and highlight cutting edge developments in each area and the opportunities that exist to improve health care.”

Two terms that may be unfamiliar, but are frequently used in discussions about personalized medicine, are pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics.  Pharmacogenomics is the science of understanding of how genetic variations affect the ways in which people respond to drugs.  Pharmacogenetics is the influence of genetic make up on biochemical factors that control the handling of therapeutic agents, notably transport mechanisms, characteristics of drug receptors, and metabolic activity.

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