SASBCP 2024

Prof H Meyer

Prof T Brink

Prof B Harvey

W Cordier

M Choonara

Prof B Rosenkranz

Title of Presentation: Cross-Disciplinary Mathematical Modelling to Benefit Health Care in Africa.

Prof Bernd Rosenkranz is medical doctor and registered Clinical Pharmacologist in Germany and South Africa, with many years experience in clinical drug development in international pharmaceutical industry. From 2008 – 2016, he was head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Stellenbosch University. He is President of Fundisa African Academy of Medicines Development in Cape Town (established in 2014), visiting scientist at the Institute for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Charité in Berlin and Honorary Member of SASBCP. He is Associate Editor of the Drugs Outcomes Research and Policies section of Frontiers in Pharmacology, and co-editor of two Research Projects of this journal on Education and Training in Medicines Development and Regulation and on Digital Health Innovations in Africa. His professional interests are around capacity development initiatives for medicines development and regulation in Africa.

Prof Bernd Rosenkranz is vice treasurer of the Manenberg Aftercare Centre in Cape Town, airport chaplain in Berlin and lives near Potsdam, Germany.

Prof O Ogunleye

Title of Presentation: COVID -19 Pandemic across Africa: Lessons learnt and the Implications for the Future of Pharmacology.

Professor Olayinka Ogunleye currently chairs the Global Health Pharmacology and Therapeutics Committee of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) with the main trust of promoting rational uses of medicines globally especially in resource strained countries. He is also a member of IUPHAR Executive Committee,  a member of the International Advisory Group of The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and a fellow of the BPS (FBPhS), as well as a Co-founder of the Medicines Utilization Research in Africa (MURIA) Group.  He was the foundation President of the Nigerian Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (NSCPT) between November 2019 and November 2023. `

He is a graduate of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Ibadan and The University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria with Postgraduate Trainings in Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Cardiology, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics. He is a Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria in Internal Medicine.

 His passion lies in providing cost effective preventive and therapeutic solutions to the health problems of the developing nations primarily and the world at large including communicable and non-communicable diseases with the highest ethical and scientific standards.

He is currently a Professor of Medicine (Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics) and the Head of Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology at the Lagos State University College of Medicine and an Honorary Consultant Physician to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos.

He has extensive global networks and he’s well published in peer review journals. He is an Associate Editor to Frontiers in Pharmacology (Pharmaceutical Medicine and Outcome Research) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (BJCP).

Prof M Blockman

Title of Presentation: Ethical prescribing of antimicrobials.

He is a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, and senior consultant in the division of clinical pharmacology at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town.

He exemplifies a strong culture of evidence based medical practice, exemplified by his involvement in the teaching and application of the evidence-based ethos.

He has been involved since 1995 with the Essential Drugs Programme of South Africa, becoming Chairman in 2008.

He is a member of the Universities medical and bioethics programme; and he is Chair of the Health Sciences Human Research and Ethics Committee, as well as chair of various data safety monitoring committees (DSMBs).

He is Chair of the University of Cape Town’s Senate Ethics in Research Committee; which plays an oversite role over all the research ethics committees of the University

He is recognised as an expert on International, National and Provincial Drug Policy; and serves on SAHPRA; as chairperson of the pharmacovigilance expert committee and member of the clinical expert committee.

He serves as an International Consultant for the WHO; and is executive member of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Advisory Committee and is chair of the Groote Schuur Hospital’s PTC.

He is a well respected lecturer and was awarded the Distinguished Teachers Award from the University of Cape Town.

Prof CB Brink

Title of Presentation: Current international trends and hot topics in pharmacology education.

Christiaan Beyers Brink (Tiaan) (BPharm, MSc Pharmacology, PhD Pharmacology) is a full professor of pharmacology at the School of Pharmacy, North-West University, South Africa and registered as a pharmacist at the South African Pharmacy Council.  During his academic career, he has been involved in several managerial capacities, serving on university committees, national, continental and international learned societies and initiatives, editorial boards of national and international journals and on evaluation panels of the National Research Foundation.  He has developed effective collaborative networks at educational, research and community levels.

Research: Tiaan is an established researcher with a current NRF C2-rating, published in several international scientific journals (h index = 19, i10 index =23), trained several postgraduate students at doctoral and master’s level, and has received the FARMOVS-prize for Pharmacology and Drug Development of the Academy for science & Art, as several other research-related awards.  His research emerged from theoretical and signal-transduction pharmacology, moved towards pre-clinical pharmacology for the discovery of novel antidepressants employing translational animal models, and more recently is moving towards clinical trial research.

Education: Tiaan has been involved in tertiary education since 1990 and played the leading role in the development of the first distance-learning, Web-based Honours B.Sc. degree and CPD programme in pharmacology.  He received the Burrows Teaching Award 2012 from McMaster University, Canada and a VERKA Educational Learning Merit Award from the former Potchefstroom University for CHE in 2003.  Internationally, he had been the Secretary (2006-2010) & Chair (2010-2014) of the Education Section of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR).

Research ethics: Tiaan has been appointed by the Minister of Health to serve on the National Research Ethics Council (NHREC – 2017-2023), serving as chairperson of the Animals in Research Committee.  He is the chairperson of the NWU-AnimCareREC animal research ethics of the North-West University (2014 to current).  A publication in animal research ethics has been accepted for publication.

Leadership: His leadership skills at national, continental and international levels are well recognised, including being the immediate past-president of the South African Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, Africa’s representative on the “Integrative and Organ Systems Pharmacology” (IOSP) committee of IUPHAR (2006-2014), had been the Secretary-General of IUPHAR’s 17th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology 2014, served on the executive Committee the ‘Pharmacology for Africa’ initiative in Africa and is on the Presidential team for the National Report of the South African country response.

Prof W Cordier

Title of Presentation: Capacitating South African healthcare practitioners for their pharmacological needs: Designing fit-for-purpose curricula.

Prof Werner Cordier, an Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pretoria obtained his PhD in Pharmacology in 2016, and National Research Foundation Y2-rating in 2022. His biomedical research focuses on using advanced cell culture models to elucidate molecular factors that facilitate chemoresistance and dormancy in cancer so that better drug development platforms can be established for nanomedicine and indigenous knowledge systems. He has published 35 papers, with a diverse range of students graduated under his (co-)supervision (39 Honours; 9 Masters; 2 Doctoral).

Apart from his biomedical research, he has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Institute of FAIMER’s health professions education fellowship. He is currently completing a second PhD in Curriculum and Instructional Design and Development with a focus on aligning pharmacology education with healthcare practitioner workplace competencies to ensure fit-for-purpose graduates. As such, he has started to develop a second research focus area focusing on graduate competency development and its involvement with professional identity formation. Ongoing research focuses on the graduate competencies required for envisaged extension of scopes of practice to include bolstered non-medical prescribing, curricular changes informed by it, and areas of knowledge development in healthcare practitioners. Given his involvement in the health professions education community, Prof Cordier also serves as Faculty member of the Association for Health Professions Education and Leadership and Associate Editor on the African Journal for Health Professions Education.

Prof H Meyer

Title of Presentation: It took a global pandemic to show complacent healthcare professionals that vaccine hesitancy is not “a storm in a teacup”.

Professor Johanna Catharina Meyer is a Professor in the Department of Public Health Pharmacy and Management, School of Pharmacy at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) and Head of the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre at SMU in South Africa. She chairs the ministerial advisory National Immunisation Safety Expert Committee, and serves on the National Advisory Group on Immunisation and the Board of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA). During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked with the National Department of Health and SAHPRA to strengthen vaccine safety surveillance in South Africa, as part of the African Union Smart Safety Solutions (AU-3S) 10-year programme to strengthen pharmacovigilance across Africa. She currently chairs the AU-3S Joint Signal Management Group, aimed at facilitating cross-country signal management in Africa, to support action in the interest of public health and safety. She specialises in vaccine safety, vaccine hesitancy, vaccination as a pillar of antimicrobial stewardship, and rational medicines use. Her research aims to strengthen healthcare services, improve public health, and contribute towards reaching the sustainable development goal of good health and well-being. She is a core member of the SMU Research Ethics Committee and an active member of various professional societies.

Dr T Semete-Makokotlela

Title of Presentation. The role of the regulator in monitoring adverse drug reactions.

Dr Semete-Makokotlela is the CEO of the South African Health Products Regulator. She has a Ph.D. (Biochemistry) and holds MSc in Management Finance and Investment. She has recently been appointed of as the chair of the African Medicines regulatory harmonization initiative.  Boitumelo is also a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative. Within the technology innovation space, she was the Executive Director at CSIR Biosciences and prior to that she managed a biotechnology incubator at The Innovation Hub Management Company. She was with McKinsey & Company for 2 years as a McKinsey Leadership Fellow. Prior to that, she was at the CSIR as a Senior Researcher. She completed her postdoctoral research at the University of Nottingham and EPFL, Switzerland. She has published as a first author and co-author in scientific publications, review articles and book chapters. She sits on a number of scientific advisory committees and Board of Directors. She is also involved a number of thought leadership projects such as the African Union Strategy for Health Research, the East Africa Community Bioeconomy strategy development team and WHO Expert Panel on scaling health Innovations in Africa. She was also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee at the National Department of Health.

Prof G Maartens

Title of Presentation: Antiretroviral-TB drug-drug interactions: questioning target concentrations.

Gary Maartens is an emeritus professor of medicine and senior research scholar at the University of Cape Town. He is the former head of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cape Town, and was a chief specialist physician at Groote Schuur hospital. He played a pivotal role in the development of clinical pharmacology and infectious diseases as clinical disciplines in South Africa. He was the founding president for the South African College of Clinical Pharmacologists. His main research interests are in therapeutic aspects of HIV-associated tuberculosis, drug-resistant tuberculosis, and antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings. In 2015 he was awarded a gold medal for outstanding contributions to medical research by the Medical Research Council of South Africa. He is A rated by the National Research Foundation. He serves as protocol pharmacologist on multiple studies of the NIH’s AIDS Clinical Trials Group. He has been involved in international guideline development for HIV-associated tuberculosis for the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in developing national drug policy guidelines. He is editor-in-chief of the Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine.

Abstracts:

Title of Presentation: Cross-Disciplinary Mathematical Modelling to Benefit Health Care in Africa.

Authors: Bernd Rosenkranz (1), Georg Feulner (2), Colin Pillai (3)

Affiliations: (1) Fundisa African Academy of Medicines Development, Institute for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin; (2) Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; (3) Pharmacometrics Africa, CP+ Associates.

Email presenting author: rosenkranz@sun.ac.za

Cell number presenting author: 082-955 0017

Introduction:

The tool of mathematical modelling is used in several disciplines to make predictions, assess variability and evaluate factors that influence outcomes of interventions. Modelling specialists cooperate in their special fields, but there is a lack of networking between disciplines.

Aims and Objectives:

Cross-disciplinary cooperation can provide insights outside the boundaries of the own profession, such as healthcare in Africa.

Methods:

The discussion takes into account the deliberations at the Cross-Discipline Mathematical Modelling & Simulation Symposium on 9 December 2023 organised by Fundisa African Academy of Medicines Development, Pharmacometrics Africa and Stellenbosch University (https://pmxafrica.org/cmms-2023).

Results and Discussion:

The science of pharmacometrics modelling has evolved from the introduction of the term “pharmacokinetics” in the 1950s through a paradigm shift in academic research by focussing on population variability (1980s) to the professional support of medicines development and regulatory approval (1990s). Nowadays, the scope of pharmacometrics modelling has broadened to translational medicine, use of genetic algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence.  Global health disease models evaluate disease progression, effects of interventions, epidemiology, and health technology assessments including health economic considerations. Climate change is associated with changes in disease patterns and in the use of medicines. Cross-disciplinary mathematical modelling of observation-based earth systems, epidemiology, agriculture and health economics can explore global health impacts and assist with decision making. Malaria is presented as an example for the potential benefits of cross-disciplinary networking.

Conclusion:

Cross-disciplinary networking between modelling communities can provide a holistic approach to a variety of interconnected problems. Challenges in Africa include scientific gaps, data gaps and data access, and modelling and forecasting gaps. These can be overcome by capacity building, knowledge management and communication.

Capacitating South African healthcare practitioners for their pharmacological needs: Designing fit-for-purpose curricula.

Werner Cordier (Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa).

Pharmacology remains an important facet of healthcare practitioner education, however, the relationship of the discipline to the graduate competencies are heavily dependent on their scope of practice. Pharmacological competencies for many allied healthcare practitioners become particularly niche depending on their practice, which necessitates clear constructive alignment in the curriculum to ensure authentic competency development is achieved. However, pharmacology education is often approached from a generalised, decontextualised vantage with less-than-ideal clinical integration in such healthcare professions, thus often leading to misalignment, hindered competency development, or inappropriate weighting of pharmacology. To create a more fit-for-purpose curriculum, a research-based approach was used to develop a South African-relevant competency framework for pharmacology education in dietetics, nursing, and physiotherapy via a Delphi-led approach, as well as preliminary targeted needs assessment to align it to the University of Pretoria context.

Three competency frameworks unique to each practitioner were designed, highlighting the context-specific needs of each profession within the current healthcare landscape. The competency frameworks allow for a clearer benchmarking for designing pharmacology curricula to what is needed by each healthcare practitioner, thus affording a less content-heavy or inappropriate curriculum. Furthermore, it affords the curriculum designer more possibilities for constructively-aligned teaching, learning and assessment. Targeted needs analysis highlighted decontextualisation and lack of integration as prominent concerns within the current curricula, further bolstered by inadequate scaffolding of biomedical sciences needed for pharmacology competency development. The proposed curricula are seen as more relevant and aligned to modern-day practice, and have a higher level of alignment throughout the professional programmes at the University of Pretoria. Further evaluation is needed thought to help refine the implementation plan for a fit-for-purpose programme that facilitates horizontal and vertical integration within each profession.


Ethical prescribing of antimicrobials.

M Blockman (Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cape Town, South Africa).

The overuse and misuse of antimicrobial agents have led to a global crisis of antimicrobial resistance, threatening our ability to treat common infections effectively. In response to this concern, healthcare professionals must reevaluate their prescribing practices and adopt a more ethical approach to antimicrobial stewardship.  The ethical prescribing of antimicrobials encompasses not only the principles of patient well-being but also the broader societal impact of antimicrobial resistance. This talk will discuss the complex landscape of antimicrobial stewardship, emphasizing the moral responsibilities that healthcare professionals bear in the face of a growing global health crisis.

I will explore the ethical dilemmas surrounding antimicrobial prescribing, addressing key topics such as patient autonomy, justice, and the delicate balance between individual health and public health. Including the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence and how they apply to prescribing decisions, as well as the importance of appropriate diagnosis and the avoidance of unnecessary antimicrobial use.  Moreover, I will look at the broader societal implications of antimicrobial resistance, including the potential for widespread harm if responsible prescribing practices are not upheld. It will discuss strategies for raising awareness and fostering ethical behaviour among healthcare providers, as well as the crucial role of patient education and shared decision-making in the process.

It will expand on:

The ethical responsibility of clinicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare team members in safeguarding antimicrobial effectiveness.

Patient communication and shared decision-making; respecting their autonomy and providing education on the risks and benefits of antimicrobial therapy.

Antimicrobial stewardship programs and the importance of collaborative efforts ensuring ethical prescribing practices.

The common barriers to ethical prescribing, proposing practical solutions.

By promoting responsible and judicious use of antimicrobials, we can collectively work towards preserving the efficacy of these life-saving drugs while upholding the highest ethical standards in patient care.