Unlicensed “special” medicines: improving the patients’ experience (MPhil)

   Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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  Dr E Mantzourani, Dr R Yemm  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

An ideal opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to make a difference in patient care.
“Special” medicines are medicines made for a specific patient when their needs cannot be met using a standard commercially available product, for example for children, to achieve lower doses than the standard product can provide, or to provide a liquid medicine for a person who receives their food and medicines via a feeding tube. Pharmacists are responsible for supplying specials to patients, and this may involve manufacture, procurement and dispensing. Specials are tailored to the patient, but this individualisation means that obtaining them can be difficult, and variable between suppliers; they range from those prepared as a “one-off” by a pharmacist in a community pharmacy through to quality assured products made in a licensed manufacturing unit and subjected to end product analytical testing before release and use. This variability in quality and accessibility is particularly problematic when patients move between care settings, for example returning home after treatment in hospital
The project activity will involve qualitative surveys of patients and an understanding from the patients’ perspective of issues relating to specials. In parallel there will be a collection of procedures and policies from across Wales and a proposal for improvements based on evidence from stakeholders’ experiences and challenges. All of the recruitment, interviews and focus groups for this project will be based in WWV

Funding Notes

We have secured funding for an MPhil scholarship to cover fees and stipend.

Eligible students must have: Home (UK)/EU status; meet the minimum academic qualifications for entry onto the University course; and, have the right to work in the West Wales and the Valleys region on completion of the scholarship. Eligible students must be able to provide documentary evidence of a home or work address in the convergence area at the time of their KESS2 application and on enrolment for study.

Please note this is an MPhil and not a PhD


To ensure that the scope of the project encompasses all the relevant areas, it will involve several partners: Mayberry Pharmacy, St Mary’s Pharmaceutical Unit and Community Pharmacy Wales; each is involved at different parts of the specials supply chain. Findings can help each partner improve the patient experience of obtaining and using specials by enhancing communication and collaborative working between the different sectors of pharmacy.

The project is anticipated to start in April 2018 and run for a year.
For informal enquiries or more information please contact Dr Efi Mantzourani at MantzouraniE1@cardiff.ac.uk or (029)29 87 04 52
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