Communicating science in an age of uncertainty
Communicating about potential therapies during COVID-19 is a global challenge, whose solution is not straight forward. As pharmacologists and pharmacists we are increasingly required to communicate about a variety of potentially controversial subjects to a diverse group of people, from the general public, to affected stakeholders to government instrumentalities. This comes at a time where the background information may be rapidly changing, where there is public mistrust in experts, there may be significant misinformation and ideological commitment to points of view.
This symposium will explore how to communicate scientific information which can directly impact public health under these difficult circumstances, using case studies of communicating important topics under difficult situations that will provide lessons for navigating pharmacological communication in the age of COVID-19.
Since the turn of the century there has been a resurgence in the development of peptide therapeutics. Pharmaceutical companies have come to appreciate the excellent specificity and safety profiles of peptide-based drugs and how they can
complement or be alternatives to small molecule and biological therapeutics.
Currently, there are ~70 therapeutic peptides on the market, ~200 in clinical trials, and ~600 in the pre-clinical development stage. The peptide-based drug market is expected to develop at a faster rate than non-peptide drugs over the next 5-10 years. This symposium will highlight peptide therapeutic development. Patrick Sexton will be the lead speaker and will summarize his pioneering Cryo-EM studies on Class B G protein-coupled receptor structures which have revolutionized drug targeting of this class of peptide receptors. The other speakers will all highlight specific peptide therapeutics that are under development against varied cellular targets.
Novel approaches to solving the antibacterial resistance crisis: TB and Malaria
Based on the conference theme, it is logical to have at least one session on antibiotic resistance. APSA has run a session on antibacterials in the past, but the intension for this session is to focus more on treatments for 3rd world diseases TB and malaria (hence, a more global focus). This session is designed to integrate interest groups from both APSA and ASCEPT (including pharmacy practice, pharmaceutics and molecular pharmacology), by covering areas that include bioinformatics approaches to identifying solutions to antibiotic drug resistance, rational development of new antibiotics, and therapeutic drug monitoring. The session will begin by covering computational approaches to developing novel ‘resistance resistant’ anti-TB drugs, followed by therapeutic drug monitoring to treat TB patients. It will conclude by focussing on two different approaches to developing novel anti-malarial drugs.
Global challenges in education: creating an inclusive environment.
University classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse – diverse in language and cultural background, gender identity, ability, faith and socioeconomic background, as examples. While universities at the macro level are actively exploring and promoting cultural competence and gender equity, inclusive practices at the meso level, in the classroom and in our teaching, have received less consideration. In this session we will explore how we embed equity and inclusion in our teaching, through acknowledging and working with diversity in the classroom, design for inclusive and equitable learning, and pharmacology in the indigenous curriculum. This symposium represents an important contribution of the ASCEPT Education Forum and we propose this event as the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion event that forms an important practice of the ASCEPT Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.
Innovative therapeutic approaches of resolution pharmacology
This symposium focuses on current strategies to develop and/or implement resolution pharmacology using the new agonists, new modes to activate pro-resolving targets, natural and/or synthetic therapies. We predict Resolution Pharmacology will represent an important innovation in the way common diseases will be treated in the next decades of this millennium.
Interdisciplinary strategies to address unwarranted variation in high-risk medicines use in aged care
There are more than 242,000 permanent residents of aged care facilities nationally in Australia. Residents are among the highest consumers of medicines, receiving an average of 10 medicines regularly, and are at increased risk of medicines-related harm. Optimising medicines management in residential aged care is a key focus of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Differences in health system performance can lead to clinical variation in care and outcomes. This is a global challenge, with considerable variation in medicines use observed in aged care facilities across Australia and internationally. Measuring and understanding contributors to unwarranted variation in medicines use is necessary to inform quality improvement initiatives in this setting.
This symposium will describe recent studies that indicate considerable variation in high-risk medicines use and clinical outcomes across residential aged care facilities. The influence of organisational culture on decisions about medicines use and intervention uptake in aged care facilities, and contribution to clinical variation will be discussed. The symposium will highlight existing and emerging evidence-based initiatives that can be used to detect and respond to unwarranted clinical variation to optimise medicines use and health outcomes within this vulnerable population.
Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion that incorporates an aged care provider perspective.