Social and Clinical Pharmacy – University of Copenhagen

Social and Clinical Pharmacy

Social pharmacy seeks to have the broad view of medicines in society and focuses on how medicines are perceived, used, and managed by different actors in society. Clinical pharmacy seeks to ensure the optimal and rational use of medicines for the benefit of patients and society through collaboration between pharmacists, other health professionals, and the patient.

SCP’s research ultimately seeks to ensure the benefit of medicines for users, organizations, and society (d. “Sikre god gavn af lægemidler”).The benefit of medicines can be viewed in a multitude of ways depending on the perspective.

SCP’s vision is through its research to contribute to a better life with medicines through the newest knowledge about users, organizations and society and how these interact to shape medicines use in society. SCP’s researchers are open to changes in society and constantly seek to adapt their work to currently relevant research directions, theories, and methods, as well as being active in shaping the field.

SCP’s research is mainly within three broad topic areas of Medicines Use, Clinical Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Policy. Research within each of these areas can overlap as shown in the figure. Furthermore, research within each focus area can be situated on one or more of the levels of the user, organization and society.

Medicines useTil toppen

Medicines Use research seeks to gain understanding of medicine use in society and the rationales for using or not using medicines.

Often the research focuses on groups such as young persons, ethnic minorities, and elderly who are at increased risk of problems with medicines. Perceptions and use / practices surrounding medicines use are often the object of study.

Examples of Medicines Use themes and projects:

Clinical pharmacyTil toppen

Clinical pharmacy is defined by the European Society of Clinical Pharmacy as a health specialty, which describes the activities and services of the clinical pharmacist to develop and promote the rational and appropriate use of medicinal products and devices. Clinical Pharmacy includes all the services performed by pharmacists practicing in hospitals, community pharmacies, nursing homes, home-based care services, clinics and any other setting where medicines are prescribed and used. It implies that the type of activity is related to the health of the patient(s).

Research within this area often focuses on how pharmacists – through their specific knowledge – ensure the beneficial use of medicines e.g. by collaborating with the patient and other health care professionals on medicine related issues and/or by educating about medicines.

Examples of Clinical Pharmacy themes and projects:

Pharmaceutical policyTil toppen

Pharmaceutical policy deals with the principles guiding decision making in the field of pharmaceuticals. The goal of pharmaceutical policy is (similar to other social policy) to contribute to the overall health, welfare and well-being of the population. It includes any policy that attempts to improve or regulate registration, reimbursement, distribution, and use of pharmaceuticals. Making pharmaceutical policy research requires an understanding of the institutional systems through which pharmacy services and programs are delivered, funded, and regulated, and through which pharmaceutical policy is made and implemented. 

Research within this area often focuses on how the actors in the drug market interact and on new technological developments which impact medicines use. This can for example be research that focuses on how users can be involved as new partners in the development of medicines and new medicine-related services; how changes in manufacturing practices will impact distribution and use of medicines; and about access to medicines or medication-related services.

Examples of Pharmaceutical Policy themes and projects: