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 – Drug Literature Evaluation Presentation (15%)
Working in pairs, students will be assigned a current drug with specific indications.
Pairs will be asked to find and select two randomized clinical trials regarding their assigned drug and will be expected to critique the trials.
Pairs will prepare and record a ten-minute Powerpoint presentation on their findings, which will be posted in Moodle. Specifically, the presentation should include:
- A brief description of the mechanism of action of the drug being evaluated
- Describe the two clinical trials that were chosen
- Comment critically on the design of the clinical trials
- Discuss the therapeutic uses and adverse effects of the assigned drug, based on the clinical trials
- Summarize your conclusions, including a statement on the usefulness of the drug in therapeutics
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 3 – 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 teaching assistants or the course instructor.
Assessment 4 – Written Report: Solve the Clinical Case (10%)
Students will join together in groups of 4 or 5 and will be given a clinical case with a set of questions to answer based on information covered in the course. Groups will be responsible for discussing, researching and answering the questions to their clinical case.
Each group will write a formal report, addressing the questions for their clinical case to be handed in at the end of week 2. In addition, each group will be responsible for formulating one multiple-choice question regarding their clinical case to pose to their classmates. This has to be a new question (i.e. not a question that the group has been asked to answer in their assignment), and has to be a question that the other students in the class can answer based on the information provided in the clinical case scenario, and the information learned in class. The multiple-choice question is to be submitted along with the formal report at the end of week 2.
Following review by the teaching assistants or instructors, each group’s clinical case scenario and multiple choice question will be combined into one practice quiz and posted on Moodle. Each student will then have to answer the questions posed by their classmates regarding the clinical case scenarios. This will serve as a practice quiz, and will be marked for completion only. In addition, each group’s written report will be marked by teaching assistants or instructors.
Assessment 5 – Midterm Exam (10%)
The exam will be conducted online and will consist of multiple choice questions.
Assessment 6 – Final Proctored Exam (40%)
Must pass final exam.
The final exam will include well-designed, case-based multiple choice questions and short answer questions that will test the students’ overall understanding and application of the course material, rather than rote memorization.
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).
Textbooks and Materials
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).