Liverpool recognised for HIV pharmacology research

Screenshot of website

Websites and smartphone applications developed by the University of Liverpool to help safely prescribe medications for HIV and hepatitis patients have been shortlisted for a leading medical award.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards recognise the incredible work that healthcare teams across the country do every day, with the aim of promoting excellence in healthcare. The Liverpool Drug Interactions team have been shortlisted for the Patient Safety category for its world leading HIV and Hepatitis Drug Interactions resources.

Developed and maintained by researchers at the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine, and provide comprehensive, clinically-useful, evidence-based, drug interaction resources, which are freely available to healthcare workers, patients and researchers across the globe. Each site is recommended as a key patient management tool in multiple national, regional and international treatment guidelines, including those published by the British HIV Association, European AIDS Clinical Society, European Association for the Study of the Liver and the World Health Organisation.

500,000 queries a month

For the 36.9 million people worldwide currently living with HIV and the 71 million people living with Hepatitis C, modern antiretroviral therapy (ART) has transformed lives. Yet while advances in therapy have yielded effective treatments for both diseases, these drugs are amongst the most therapeutically risky for drug-drug interactions (DDIs) which can cause significant patient harms.

Many drug combinations have the potential to interact and this can affect patient safety or the effectiveness of treatment. For this reason, some drug combinations should not be given at all, while other drugs may be used together with caution. Prescribers need access to regularly updated, evidence-based information in order to manage these treatment complexities safely and effectively.

The Liverpool applications and websites provide a guide to interactions that may occur between different HIV drugs, HCV drugs and over 700 commonly prescribed co-medications, as well as recreational drugs and herbals. The resources are constantly updated to reflect the latest research and safety data enabling the HIV Pharmacology Group to respond quickly and accurately to over 500,000 DDI queries a month. Last year the sites were accessed by over 300,000 unique visitors from 188 countries.

Global impact

Katie McAllister, Development Manager, Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Liverpool, said: “Just a few months after Liverpool pharmacologists were honoured with the Queens Anniversary Prize, the University has again been recognised for our HIV pharmacological research by being shortlisted for these awards.

“The resources have a huge impact globally: use of the drug interaction checkers has become an integral part of HIV and Hepatitis patient management in the UK and beyond: leading HIV and Hepatitis clinicians report daily use of the site, and the HIV drug Interaction checker is also integrated into the electronic prescribing system in one of the largest HIV Clinics in sub-Saharan Africa (Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala).”

More than 350 teams from across the country have entered applications for awards in 15 categories. The winners will be announced at celebratory award ceremony being held in London on 10 May.

More information about the awards can be found here.

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