Research Strategy

Pharmacy Research UK funds research into the practice of pharmacy – we are interested in how and why people access pharmacy services, what pharmacies do, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. We seek to understand the way professionals, patients and the public think about and access medicines and pharmacy services and utilise our research outputs to develop and support policy and practice relevant to pharmacy, health and social care.

We do not currently fund research using animals. However, as a member of AMRC we support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments. This research only takes place where there is no alternative available. All AMRC member charities support this principle, as outlined in this statement.

Pharmacy Research UK’s vision is

to help pharmacy and pharmacists improve the public’s health and deliver better outcomes for patients.

Pharmacy Research UK wants to ensure that our resources deliver the greatest possible impact. To ensure that the research we fund addresses key current issues and can help drive positive change, we have agreed a broad set of themes and issues as a focus for the work that we fund. These areas highlight where we feel we can make a difference and how new research projects and awards can fit in our priorities to help build a coherent, targeted research portfolio.

Our themes

The pharmacist – workforce/skills

Exploring the current and future needs of pharmacists, the nature of the role and the people who practice. This might include:

  1. Pharmacy education and skills / training / development
  2. Integration of services
  3. Workforce needs, structure and capacity
  4. Collaborative working with professionals beyond pharmacy

The future of pharmacy

Research investigating the role of pharmacy in the future, and how it can develop to deliver increased patient benefit, given the changing landscape of healthcare. This might include:

  1. Future service models and new pharmacy roles
  2. Personalised medication (such as stratified medicine and pharmacogenomics)
  3. The impact of telemedicine and internet medicines supply
  4. Effectiveness, cost and uptake of new technology
  5. Making better use of digital and data in pharmacy
  6. Ensuring pharmacy is at the forefront of addressing future health challenges

Pharmacy and patients

Research exploring the way in which pharmacists and other professionals in pharmacy engage with and support patients, and how this might change and develop. This might include:

  1. Co-production of pharmacy services with patients and carers
  2. Pharmacy and antimicrobial resistance
  3. Pharmacy and minor ailments
  4. Shared decision-making
  5. The role of pharmacy in tackling health inequalities

Safe medicines use

Research exploring medicine safety and efficiency, understanding the role of pharmacists and other service providers in ensuring the best use and outcomes from pharmaceutical care. This might include:

  1. Safe use of medications at home
  2. Multimorbidity, polypharmacy and associated risks
  3. Over-prescribing/deprescribing and getting the right balance
  4. Evaluation of new prescribing models

Mental health and pharmaceutical care

Research exploring how pharmacists can best support and work with people with mental health conditions. This might include:

  1. The skills/knowledge needed by pharmacists to support people with mental health conditions
  2. The effectiveness, efficiency and patient acceptability of pharmacy-based interventions in improving the quality of life of people with mental health conditions
  3. Understanding the pharmaceutical care needs of people with mental health conditions and how pharmacy, including pharmacists, can contribute to this

Pharmacy and long-term conditions

Research exploring how pharmacists can best support people with long-term conditions. This might include:

  1. Supporting people with long-term conditions, for example, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy or heart and circulatory diseases
  2. Supporting people being treated for, and who have survived, cancer
  3. Supporting an ageing population, including patient-centred service design to support multimorbidity
  4. The effectiveness, efficiency and patient acceptability of pharmacy-based interventions in improving the quality of life of people with dementia
  5. Exploring the role of pharmacists in providing support to the wider healthcare team, including carers of patients with long-term conditions.

For more information, please download our Research Strategy below.

Pharmacy Research UK 2019-2022 Research Strategy