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PHAR 370 Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

PHAR 370 Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Therapeutics

 Summer 2023 (Online), Fall 2023 (Blended), Winter 2024 (Blended & Online)
 Year 3 Core Course
 9-10 hours/week
 3 units
On-Campus Course
Online Course

PHAR 370, 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.

*Previously PHAR 270, Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Corequisite: PHGY 215/3.0 and PHGY 216/3.0; or KNPE 225.

No more than 3.0 units from PHAR 230/3.0; PHAR 270/3.0; PHAR 340; PHAR 370/3.0.

May not be taken with or after PHAR 450/3.0.

After completing PHAR 370, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the principles of drug therapy to solve basic pharmacokinetics problems.
  2. Source and critically analyze phase 3 clinical trials to recognize a well-designed, valid study for a new drug.
  3. Describe how drugs affect the body and how the body affects drugs to predict beneficial and adverse drug effects.
  4. Discuss the use of therapeutics in a variety of physiological systems and processes to propose basic therapeutic plans for common diseases or ailments.
  5. 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.
  1. Communicator
  2. Advocate
  3. Leader
  4. Scholar
  5. Professional
  6. Collaborator

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, and to complete a series of pharmacokinetic simulations.

Assessment 2 - Virtual Ileum Lab (20%)

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 (20%)

Working in groups, students will be assigned a current drug with specific indications.

Week 1 – Groups will be assigned a specific drug from a drug class covered in modules 3 to 6. Groups 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 – Groups will prepare a ten-minute PowerPoint presentation on their findings. Specifically, the presentation should include:

  • A description of the mechanism of action of the drug
  • Therapeutic effects
  • Adverse effects
  • Clinical uses/indications/limitations
  • When to use the assigned drug over others in its class
  • Summary/Conclusion

Week 3 – Groups will be asked to peer review three other group presentations. All final presentations will be evaluated by teaching assistants or the course instructor according to the posted rubric.

Assessment 4 - Midterm Exam (15%)

The exam will be conducted online and will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions that will test the student's overall understanding and application of the course material.

Assessment 5 - Final Proctored Exam (35%)

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.

A minimum of 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).

Required Texts

PHAR 370 course notes via modules posted online.

Optional Texts

Katzung, Bertram G.  Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 14th edition. McGraw-Hill Education, 2018 (available online via AccessMedicine through Bracken Library).