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Developing the science of pharmacometrics in low and middle income countries

Updated: May 16, 2018

Pharmacometrics is the use of mathematics to precisely describe response to drugs. The science of Pharmacometrics combines biology, pharmacology, disease, and physiology to describe and quantify interactions between drugs and patients (human and non-human), including beneficial effects and adverse effects.


The ultimate goal is to improve drug dosing.


Pharmacometricians are virtually non-existent in Africa and the developing world. The unrelenting burden of neglected infectious diseases, which are often treated using medicines with narrow effectiveness – safety dose windows, and the growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases represents a significant burden for the patients while affording an opportunity for advancing science. Pharmacometrics is (still) an emerging discipline in the developed world which struggles to integrate into the established ways of conducting drug discovery and development. In Africa, the science and infrastructure is being built without a legacy system representing opportunity amid a need to better define and/or optimize dosing in local populations, or patients with co-morbidities.


In a paper by several authors from Africa and the global north, the case is presented for pharmacometricians to re-direct their expertise to focus on the disease burden affecting the developing world.

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