European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 74, Issue 12, pp 1663–1670 | Cite as

Reconsidering clinical pharmacology frameworks as a necessary strategy for improving the health care of patients: a systematic review

  • Davide GrisafiEmail author
  • Alessandro Ceschi
  • Gianni Sava
  • Veronica Avalos Clerici
  • Francesco Scaglione
Point of View


Clinical pharmacology (CP) is a multidisciplinary scientific field involving all aspects of the relationship between drugs and humans, encompassing professionals with a wide variety of skills including medicine, pharmacology, pharmacy, and biomedical science. The term “clinical pharmacologist” is commonly used in the professional sense to refer to medical doctors or PhD-level natural scientists/pharmacists with proven experience in improving patient care by developing new medicines and promoting the safer and more effective use of drugs. Clinical pharmacologists today should have experience even in various phases of drug development in basic and clinical research, regulatory agencies, and/or the pharmaceutical industry.

There was an important debate in 2006 that tried to define the main mission of CP [1, 2], identifying at least three priorities: First, CP is a laboratory discipline dealing with biomarkers, pharmacokinetics (PK), drug metabolism, and genetics. Second, CP is...



The authors would like to acknowledge Professor David Webb and Doctor Lee Page of British Pharmacological Society, Professor Alexander Jetter of Klinik für Klinische Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Zurich. The authors would also like to acknoweledge Omar Alexander for his contributions in the linguistic revising.


DG and VAC were responsible for the study concept and design under the supervision of FS. The literature search, abstract screening, and data extraction were undertaken by DG with further confirmation by AC, GS and VAC. DG wrote the manuscript that was reviewed by AC. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript submitted.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and Translational MedicineUniversity of MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Pharmacological Sciences of Southern SwitzerlandEnte Ospedaliero CantonaleLuganoSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Life SciencesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  5. 5.Unit of Health Technology AssessmentAzienda Ospedaliera di PadovaPadovaItaly
  6. 6.Department of Oncology and Hemato-oncologyUniversità of MilanoMilanoItaly

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