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What is clinical pharmacology and therapeutics?

‘Clinical pharmacology’ is the science of drugs and ‘therapeutics’ is the safe and effective use of medicines within healthcare.  Clinical pharmacologists are doctors who specialise in making sure that patients get the best medicines.  Areas of training and expertise include: medicines optimisation (polypharmacy, pharmacogenomics), medicines management, clinical trials, education and training. They are often employed jointly by the NHS and universities.

St George’s Hospital has one of the largest groups of clinical pharmacologists in the country.

What do we do?

Our main role is to treat patients by ensuring the safe and effective use of medicines, taking into account their medical conditions, symptoms, priorities and lifestyle.

We work with all specialties within the Trust as well as pharmacists and GPs across South West London to provide safer and better medicines for our patients.

We have varied roles in healthcare and academia. Our main roles are listed below:

Clinical work

Polypharmacy service – we run a service to support the care of people who take multiple long-term medicines (also known as polypharmacy).  We run a weekly outpatient  clinic, provide advice to other healthcare professionals and run a Skills Development Network to share expertise.  Click here for more information and here for instructions on how to refer.
Personalised medicine – we work with scientists and health professionals to develop the NHS genomics service to ensure that patients get the best medicines based on their genetic make up.
Medicines management – we support pharmacy colleagues in ensuring that patients get the safest, most effective medicines.   Our work includes the Drug and Therapeutics Committee, Medicines Optimisation Group, South London Immunoglobulin Assessment Panel and the COVID clinical reference group.
Specialist therapeutic interests – we have additional specialist interests in managing patients with high blood pressure, supporting women with health issues through their pregnancy and we work as doctors to care for patients directly on wards and in intensive care.


Clinical trials – we conduct research to test the safety and effectiveness of drugs to treat conditions such as COVID-19
Healthcare evaluation – we are researching how we can best provide care for patients who have problems with their medicines


Undergraduate – we teach the science of drugs, how they are developed and how they are used in healthcare to students on our Clinical Pharmacology BSc and Medicine MBBS courses at St George’s, University of London
Postgraduate – we provide training and support to healthcare professionals working at St George’s to ensure our staff continue to develop their prescribing skills after qualification

Contact Details

Email: stgh-tr.clinpharm.enquiries@nhs.net

Hospital Switchboard: 020 8672 1255