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Pharmacy Andrew Husband

New head of Pharmacy appointed

Published on: 19 May 2017

Professor Andrew Husband has been appointed as the Head of the newly-created School of Pharmacy at Newcastle University, which will take in the first students this September.

He is nationally recognised as the Chair of the General Pharmaceutical Council Accreditation Team and the Board of Assessors, which oversee the statutory accreditation of MPharm degrees throughout the UK and the development and implementation of the national Registration Assessment for pharmacists.

Professor Husband has moved from Durham University where he was a Dean, responsible for the design and development of Pharmacy.

His research interests lay mainly in anticoagulants, such as warfarin, and cancer. His currently focus is on the rational use of medicines and the role of IT in health, particularly in prescribing, and patient experiences of using medicine.

He is also interested in ensuring an integrated approach to the curriculum so that students take a multi-disciplinary approach to address the type of complex problems that they face in the practice environment. 

Professor Husband took time out from his busy schedule setting up the new Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) Degree to answer our questions about his new role:

What does introducing Pharmacy mean to Newcastle University? 

My vision for the School of Pharmacy at Newcastle University is to create a world-class School, providing outstanding research and education, which has impact regionally, nationally and internationally to develop professionals who can contribute to the issues society faces in respect of the safe and effective use and development of medicines. 

The design, delivery and use of modern medicines has never been more complex and challenging than it is now. We are creating more complex treatments to target diseases and with that comes many challenges and also huge costs, both financial and human. The population is ageing and the costs of treating disease within a diverse population are substantial.

The School of Pharmacy will focus on teaching and research, which essentially explores the design, delivery and safe and effective use of medicines. We believe that this will bring a different focus to some of the work that goes on within the University, not only in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, but extending out into SAgE and beyond.

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What are the benefits for students in being at Newcastle?

For our students the ability to learn alongside medical and dental students as well as those in psychology, sport, biomedical science and nutrition is a huge benefit both academically and socially.

We already have a range of inter-professional learning within our provision, but the diversity of other disciplines at Newcastle, as well as the availability of all five years of medical and dental students gives us opportunities that have previously not been available. We expect this inter-professional education to be a strength of the Newcastle health provision moving forward.

Due to the proximity of the Royal Victoria Infirmary we are working on unique ways of teaching pharmacy, including bedside teaching sessions and use of our students within the dispensary of the hospital Pharmacy Department.

We want to prepare our graduates for the workforce and our programme is designed to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to be dynamic, visionary leaders, able to adapt to a variety of demands, possibly away from what may be seen as the traditional domains of the pharmacist.

What research benefits can you see?

There are many areas where we can have a positive contribution and provide expertise that will augment current work and also develop new strands for which Newcastle will be identified as a centre of excellence internationally.

The science around drug delivery is something we will bring into the University, and we expect to grow this and work with clinical colleagues and those in medicinal chemistry and other related areas.

What’s happening with your new location for Pharmacy?

You can’t fail to have noticed the activity and dust around the King George VI Building which is being revamped and will host some impressive new facilities, including two large teaching labs. These will be ready for the opening of the School of Pharmacy in August.

The redevelopment will restore the original features of the building and maintain its history whilst creating a contrast with modern fixtures and fittings within the laboratories, many of which are industry-standard and are being brought from Durham. These will help build strong links with the School of Chemistry as well as within the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

We’re sharing pictures of the exciting developments on our Pharmacy at Newcastle University Facebook page and on twitter @NUPharmacy

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