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Unit Overview


This unit provides detailed attention to the pharmacology of drugs used to treat major disease states as well as various factors that complicate the use of medicines in patients.

It also expands on the concepts and practical application of pharmacokinetics, which was first introduced to students in PHCY5602 Integrated Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Pharmacy Practice 1.

The pharmacology content is presented in an integrated manner with the concurrent pharmacotherapy unit PHCY5612. It accordingly provides a suitable level of insight into the mechanism of action and therapeutic rationale underlying the use of particular medicines in the management of specific disease states.

Additional key topics include drug-drug interactions; drug-gene interactions (pharmacogenomics); impact of organ diseases on drug responses; therapeutic drug monitoring; laboratory testing and monitoring of drug-related disease responses; clinical case studies and pharmacokinetics of specific drugs.

Use of clinically-oriented problems and case studies will help students apply principles of pharmacology to real-world examples in preparation for hospital placements while also helping them achieve the unit's learning objectives.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) describe the mechanism of action, pharmacological effects, pharmacokinetic properties, therapeutic uses, contraindications, adverse effects, pharmacogenetics and clinically significant drug interactions of the principal drugs and drug classes used to treat various conditions; (2) use knowledge of pharmacological principles and major disease states to make clinical decisions about patient care; (3) explain how interference with absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination can lead to clinically important drug interactions and predict potential drug interactions from a working knowledge of their primary clearance pathway; (4) discuss the principles of pharmacokinetics in special populations (such as paediatrics, elderly or obese patients); (5) process plasma concentration versus time data and derive quantitative estimates of key pharmacokinetic properties of medicines that guide their safe and effective use in patient subgroups; (6) demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts in toxicology that apply to drug-induced harm; and (7) interpret common laboratory test results and apply these to clinical scenarios.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) ongoing assessments; (2) oral assessment; and (3) written examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Philip Burcham
Unit rules
Enrolment in
51500 Master of Pharmacy
and Successful completion of
PHCY5602 Integrated Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Pharmacy Practice 1
PHCY5612 Integrated Therapeutics and Pharmacy Practice
Contact hours
Lectures and workshop: 4 hours per week
tutorials: 2 hours per week

Required texts
1. Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook. Current edition. PSA.
2. Australian Medicines Handbook. Current edition. PSA.

Recommended texts
Chen, T et al. Case Studies in Practice - Medication Review: A Process Guide for Pharmacists. Current edition. PSA.

Chen, T et al. Case Studies in Practice. Pharmacist only and pharmacy medicines: a process guide for pharmacists. Current edition. PSA.

Derendorf, H and Schmidt, S. Rowland and Tozer's Clinical Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: Concepts and Applications. Wolters Kluwer. Current edition.

DiPiro J et al. Concepts in Clinical Pharmacokinetics. Current edition. American Society of Health-System Pharmacy.

Gowan J and Roller L. Practical disease state management for pharmacists. Current edition. APPCo.

Hughes, J. Case Studies in Practice. Use of Laboratory Test Data. Current edition. PSA.

Katzung, BG and Trevor, AJ.  Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. McGraw-Hill-Lange. Current edition.

Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N, AsterJ.  Robbins and Cotran Pathologic basis of disease. Current edition. Elsevier Health Sciences‎

Rang, H et al. Rang and Dale’s Pharmacology. Current edition. Elsevier


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.