Dictionary of Pharmaceutical Medicine 

Dictionary of Pharmaceutical Medicine

The Gospel according to St. John declares that the word was in the beginning and that the word was with God. Our book here is no bible, but it tries to fight the Babylonian disarray of language.

Have we not observed new English or German terms coming into use, with almost as many connotations that the famous CRA (Clinical Research Associate) has had? Have we not seen IRB literally translated into something like “Institutionelles Aufsichtsgremium” or worse? 

Therefore Dr. Nahler’s renewed attempt to collect and associate all those terms, abbreviations, and acronyms is more than applaudable. Too many discussions are held leading to controversies just in the absence of a reliable lexicon which also shows the ambiguity of words that we use as if everybody should understand them the same way. While it will be hard to use the dictionary in a live discussion, its prolonged use may sensitize many to those issues, and it is hoped that in books on the subject the use of terms will be “supported” by Dr. Nahler’s attempt to better define them.

I wish this book a broad use, including those that may browse through it having many “aha!” experiences. And, I am sure, due to its quality and the many changes in our profession, in a few years, we shall have a new edition of it equally thorough and good to read.

The evolution of pharmaceutical medicine, clinical pharmacology, and drug therapy have over the last few years led to the creation of a large number of new terms and their abbreviations with the result that physicians and pharmacists are at a loss when confronted with these terms. This is also due to the fact that everything connected with pharmaceutical medicine is based on interdisciplinary knowledge introduced by specialists in widely differing fields.

The present book is most welcome, as it gives short and precise information on nearly all questions. Statistics, clinical pharmacology with its different branches, issues of clinical drug investigation, and pharmacotherapy as such are dealt with. Definitions of individual terms reflect, of course, the present state and will need to be continuously updated as to their meaning.

This book is, therefore, most suitable for students of pharmacy and medicine as well as pharmacists and physicians as a source of quick and conclusive information. I, therefore, hope that this publication will meet with success and widespread approval.

Pharmaceutical medicine nowadays is a multidisciplinary area comprising aspects of toxicology, pharmacology, statistics, drug-regulatory and legal affairs, medicine, and a number of other disciplines. Therefore it is necessary to acquire additional knowledge of whatever one has studied or done at the beginning. Although post-graduate formation is offered by an increasing number of institutions, training in the field of pharmaceutical medicine is largely “on the job” and done mainly by the pharmaceutical industry or contract research organizations. Many years of experience with new colleagues showed me how useful some sort of booklet might be, that would give them a better understanding of some of the less familiar technical terms and their context. In this dictionary, containing at present more than 800 keywords, the attention of the user is drawn to such relationships by cross-references printed in small capitals.

In addition, it is always a difficult decision as to whether to include citations or not and there was a great temptation to make references throughout the text to important publications especially those of health authorities. However, this would certainly have been beyond the scope of a brief dictionary intended for daily use and I find it absolutely necessary that the user familiarises him- or herself with original, complete texts and specific, original literature for further information and not only with a compilation of citations. As a consequence, some important documents are listed in the back matter of this book. It was after all these deliberations that the idea of producing this particular type of short dictionary in its present form was born.

As is the problem with almost all dictionaries, the information given therein must be short. Furthermore, the discipline of pharmaceutical medicine is in permanent evolution and growing. This makes it difficult to keep such a dictionary “complete” and up-to-date. In addition, this dynamic process also leads to differences in an individual’s understanding and utilization of one and the same term. It will certainly occur that one person, also among readers, might interpret or define some terms differently from another. I beg therefore the user’s indulgence of these aspects and invite their comments.

A further important aspect is the utilization of abbreviations. Technical jargon usually tends to create its own abbreviations, and this is also true for the field of pharmaceutical medicine. A separate register of more than 800 frequently used abbreviations is therefore included.

Finally, a directory of important national and international bodies and organizations, as well as authorities, completes the back matter. This may help to establish contacts and to get further information.

This dictionary is aimed primarily at the beginner entering this discipline or coming into occasional contact with pharmaceutical medicine as part of his/her daily work, as is the case with investi-gators, researchers in the pharmaceutical industry, people in marketing departments, drug regulatory affairs or governments. I hope however that the content will also be of interest to experienced colleagues in departments engaged in clinical development.

As everybody knows, it is impossible to write such a dictionary without the helpful criticism of experienced colleagues and friends. I wish therefore to acknowledge many of the comments and useful discussions with Dr. Dominique B., Dr. Bob Nolan and Dr. Axel Wenzel in the initial stages of this book. I should also like to thank you for the permission to reproduce some of the definitions and addresses cited in this book.


  

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