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Drugs

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Drugs

  1. 1. Elizabeth Davis Department of Pharmacology Monash University, Australia Drugs & Society a new introductory unit in pharmacology
  2. 2. Student cohort • Science (B.Sc.) • Biomedical Science (B.Biomed.Sci.) • Behavioural Neuroscience (B.BNSc.) • Combined Science Degrees – Science/Law – Science/Economics – Science/Education
  3. 3. Underlying aims • emphasize the relevance of pharmacology to everyday life • highlight controversial issues • encourage students to appreciate the lack of ‘black & white’
  4. 4. What does the unit involve?  Lectures  Practicals (3 hands-on)  CAL Exercises / Web-based exercise  Assessment tasks (x2)
  5. 5. Lecture topics
  6. 6. • Introduction to Drug Action (6 lectures) • Targets of drug action • Drug-receptor interactions • Principles of neurotransmission • Endogenous mediators • Factors influencing drug action • Drugs & Society (9 lectures) • Introduction • Foods and beverages as drugs • Herbal medicines • Over the counter medications • Drugs & Allergies • Drugs & Sex • Drugs & Infections • Drugs & cardiovascular disease • Chemicals as toxins
  7. 7. • Drugs of Abuse (9 lectures) • Psychological aspects of drug abuse • Social aspects of drug abuse • Opium & related drugs • Alcohol – the demon drink • Psychotropic drugs • Sedatives & hypnotics • Nicotine & cannabis • Abuse of drugs in sport • Drug Development (6 lectures) • Serendipity in drug discovery • Drugs from natural sources • Rational drug design • Clinical drug development • Pharmacoeconomics
  8. 8. Assessment tasks
  9. 9. 1. DRUGS IN THE MEDIA Assignment Part 1: • Create a “Drugs in the Media” portfolio – collect newspaper articles dealing with drug/chemical related issues Part 2 •Analyse one of these articles – background – how is it reported? Is it accurate?
  10. 10. 2. Student Debate Groups of 4-6 prepare arguments for and against topics Examples of topics: ? Interest group (eg tobacco/alcohol industry) funding of drug research leads to biased outcomes ? Pharmaceutical companies should be allowed direct-to- consumer marketing ? Roadside sobriety tests should be performed for drugs other than alcohol ? Generic substitution is best for the patient and society
  11. 11. Student Feedback The amount of material covered was reasonable 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 15 4 3 2 1 %responding 5 4 3 2 1 Topics were presented in a logical sequence 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1 %responding 5 4 3 2 1 The written assignment was relevant to the aims of the unit 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1 %responding 5 4 3 2 1 The group debate was relevant to the aims of the unit 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1 %responding 5 4 3 2 1
  12. 12. 2000 : class of 100 students ⇒ 66 went on to study pharmacology in 3rd year 2001 : class of 108 students ⇒ 63 have so far gone on to study pharmacology in 3rd year Overall, I enjoyed studying Drugs & Society 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1 %responding 5 4 3 2 1
  13. 13. Conclusions Drugs and Society provides an introduction to pharmacology that is of relevance to students with a range of backgrounds and a variety of intended career paths

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