PHAR 270 Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
PHAR 270, Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, is an interdisciplinary course that introduces the basic principles and clinical applications of pharmacology. This 12-week course covers six themes or topics. Students will work through the topics online, using a combination of online modules, readings, and short video clips. Students will participate in a variety of assessments throughout the course that will encourage communication and teamwork, as well as ensure concepts have been understood and can be applied to real life scenarios. At the end of the course, students will have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of pharmacology and therapeutics.
Corequisite: PHGY 215/3.0 and PHGY 216/3.0; KNPE 225.
No more than 3.0 units from PHAR 230/3.0; PHAR 270/3.0; PHAR 340.
May not be taken with or after PHAR 450/3.0.
After completing PHAR 270, students will be able to:
- Apply the principles of drug therapy to solve basic pharmacokinetics problems.
- Source and critically analyze phase 3 clinical trials to recognize a well-designed, valid study for a new drug.
- Describe how drugs affect the body and how the body affects drugs to predict beneficial and adverse drug effects.
- Discuss the use of therapeutics in a variety of physiological systems and processes to propose basic therapeutic plans for common diseases or ailments.
- Explain how drugs target and combat infections and cancers to evaluate the pros and cons of available treatment options and to advocate for appropriate use to decrease the emergence of resistance.
All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.
Assessment 1 - Pharmacokinetics Problems and Simulations (10%)
Working individually, students will be required to answer a set of pharmacokinetics problems online, and to complete a series of pharmacokinetic simulations.
Assessment 2 - Virtual Ileum Lab (15%)
Each student will be given an unknown autonomic drug. Working individually, students will work through the virtual ileum lab, in which the goal is to determine what their unknown drug is, by comparing to known drug responses in the ileum. Students will discuss their results and conclusions within a group. After discussion, a written lab report will be submitted for evaluation by TAs or the course instructor.
Assessment 3 – Research Presentation on Assigned Drug (15%)
Working in pairs, students will be assigned a current drug with specific indications.
Week 1 – Pairs will be assigned a specific drug from a drug class covered in modules 3 or 4. Pairs will research the mechanism of action, therapeutic and adverse effects, and clinical uses of the drug. A minimum of two peer-reviewed outside sources are required (e.g. well-designed phase 3 clinical trials).
Week 2 – Pairs will prepare and record a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation on their findings, which will be posted in onQ. Specifically, the presentation should include:
- A description of the mechanism of action of the drug
- Therapeutic effects
- Adverse effects
- Therapeutic uses/indications/limitations
- When to use the assigned drug over others in its class
Week 3 – Pairs will be asked to view three other group presentations, and provide written constructive feedback. Pairs will have the opportunity to incorporate any student feedback into their presentations that they wish to. At the end of the week, all recorded presentations will be evaluated by teaching assistants or the course instructor for completeness and accuracy.
Assessment 4 - Written Report: Solve the Clinical Case (10%)
Students will be placed into groups of 5 and will be given a clinical case. Groups will be responsible for discussing, researching, and answering a set of questions on their clinical case. Each student in the group will write an individual, formal report addressing the questions for their case. Students will be assessed on the group discussion and their final report.
Assessment 5 - Midterm Exam (10%)
The exam will be conducted online and will consist of multiple choice questions.
Assessment 6 - Final Proctored Exam (40%)
The final exam will include well-designed, case-based multiple choice and short answer questions that will test the students’ overall understanding and application of the course material, rather than rote memorization. Students must pass the final exam.
Two tutorials will be run by the instructor during the course, one before the midterm and one before the final exam, providing students with an opportunity to clarify any concepts or questions.
9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).
PHAR 270 course notes via modules posted online.
Katzung, Bertram G., Masters, Susan B., and Trevor, Anthony J. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 12th edition. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing, 2009 (available online through Queen’s library).