Core concepts list

The list of Core Concepts of Pharmacology Education

We have identified the Core Concepts of Pharmacology Education by following a novel, stage-wise method that combined empirical approaches to produce a candidate list. An international expert group then worked in three rigorous rounds of Delphi method to finalise the list of core concepts, using validated criteria.

The list of 25 Core Concepts is listed below, categorised by pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD) and PK-PD intersection core concepts.

The project will now commence the development of educator resources to help students learn the core concepts and the concept inventory that will test attainment of the concepts.

Pharmacokinetics (PK) core concepts

Drug absorption
Drug distribution
Drug metabolism
Drug elimination
Drug bioavailability

Volume of distribution
Drug clearance
Steady state concentration
Zero and first order kinetics
Drug half-life

Pharmacodynamics (PD) core concepts

Drug efficacy
Mechanism of drug action
Agonists and antagonists
Drug affinity
Drug selectivity

Drug tolerance
Drug target
Drug-receptor interaction
Structure-activity relationship 

Pk-PD intersection core concepts

Adverse drug reaction
Therapeutic Index
Dose / concentration-response relationship

Drug interaction
Drug potency
Individual variation in drug response

The International Core Concepts of Pharmacology Education Project is endorsed and adopted by IUPHAR education section. This website is administered by Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

© International Core Concepts of Pharmacology Education Project 2022