Pharmacology is a biomedical science that deals with the discovery, characterization and safe use of molecules that show therapeutic benefits in humans and in animals. The Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics is the Canadian voice of this discipline and brings together Canadian scientists working towards this common goal.
Pharmacology encompasses a very wide range of scientists with individual strengths and areas of expertise who strive towards a common goal of drug discovery and development, as well as drug safety and efficacy. Until the mid 19th century pharmacology has been at best an empirical and without rigorous evidence-based research. The emergence and application of modern sciences in pharmacology has however established a solid molecular basis to drug discovery, drug development and drug therapy. Practically all basic science disciplines including chemistry, physics, engineering genetics and mathematics are found in modern pharmacology; they become pharmacology through their participation in drug discovery, drug development, drug safety and optimal clinical application.
Historically there is a distinction between basic and clinical pharmacology, where the former deals with the pre-clinical aspects of drug discovery and the latter deals mainly with individual patient response in drug therapy. The separation of these two disciplines is however blurred: close interaction is necessary. Evidence from either discipline may have important consequences for the other side; CSPT therefore encompasses both domains.
The main challenges for pharmacology in Canada today are the continual decrease of funding in all domains of scientific research, the rapidly changing landscape of the Pharma industry, the ever increasing health costs to society and lack of long-term investment in science and education.
Canada needs world-class research, a strong local pharmaceutical industry and a highly qualified workforce to maintain and develop optimal and affordable health care for our population and our economy. The aims of CSPT are to facilitate these goals at our academic institutions, to be partners with our government on both provincial and federal levels and to foster national and international communication, collaboration and excellence in pharmacology research.