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 » Methodology
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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 74-77
 

Temporal trends in pharmacology publications by pharmacy institutes: A deeper dig


1 Department of Pharmacology, Lallubhai Motilal College of Pharmacy, Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India
2 Care Institute of Medical Sciences, Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India

Date of Submission10-Sep-2016
Date of Acceptance13-Oct-2016
Date of Web Publication2-Nov-2016

Correspondence Address:
Parloop Amit Bhatt
Department of Pharmacology, Lallubhai Motilal College of Pharmacy, Ahmadabad, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.193329

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 » Abstract 


Objective: Publications in Indian Journal of Pharmacology (IJP) are the face of contemporary pharmacology practices followed in health-care profession - a knowledge-based profession. It depicts trends in terms of quantity (proportions), quality, type (preclinical/clinical), thrust areas, etc., of pharmacology followed by biomedical community professions both nationally and internationally. This article aims to establish temporal trends in pharmacology research by pharmacy institutes in light of its publications to IJP from 2010 to 2015.
Methodology: The website of IJP was searched for publications year and issue wise for contributing authors from pharmacy institutions and analyzed for types of publications, their source and the categories of research documented in these publications.
Results: A total of 1034 articles were published, of which 189 (18%) articles were published by pharmacy institutes, of which 90% (n = 170) were contributed from pharmacy institutes within India whereas 10% (n = 19) from international pharmacy institutes. 75% of these were research publication, the majority of which (65%) were related to preclinical screening of phytochemical constituents from plants.
Conclusion: With multi and interdisciplinary collaborations in pharmacy profession the trend needs to improve toward molecular and cellular pharmacology and clinical studies.
Key message:
Publication in IJP complements teaching and training, research and clinical service offered by biomedical community. Temporal Trends in pharmacology publications in IJP by pharmacy institutes infers that research by pharmacy institutes needs to be more science oriented with well-defined objectives leading to molecular and cellular pharmacology. With the increased responsibility and scope of pharmacy profession in health care, contributions in clinical studies stand as the need of the hour.


Keywords: Indian Journal of Pharmacology, pharmacy institutes, scientific publications, trends


How to cite this article:
Bhatt PA, Patel Z. Temporal trends in pharmacology publications by pharmacy institutes: A deeper dig. Indian J Pharmacol 2016;48, Suppl S1:74-7

How to cite this URL:
Bhatt PA, Patel Z. Temporal trends in pharmacology publications by pharmacy institutes: A deeper dig. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2020 Jun 3];48, Suppl S1:74-7. Available from: http://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2016/48/7/74/193329




Etymologically, pharmacology is the science of drugs (Greek pharmakos, medicine or drug; and logos, study). It has been defined as “an experimental science which has for its purpose the study of changes brought about in living organisms by chemically acting substances whether used for therapeutic purposes or not.”[1] It studies the effects of drugs and how they exert their effects. Thus, Pharmacology is an integral discipline taught to all health-care professionals. Besides the inherent basic principles, scope of pharmacology teaching extends depending on the specialization of the health-care profession.

In medical and pharmacy research and teaching, pharmacology focuses on both preclinical and clinical aspects both in theory and experiments. Scientific publication is a platform to express the joy of scientific discovery. The reasons for scientific writing range from noble to basics. In general, it mirrors the research and teaching of the subject, an indicator of achievement of a certain academic standard. In a broader sense, these publications serve as a key indicator that provides information of the individual skills, orientation of the involved research team, organizational resources and its contributing factors, focus areas of interest and scope of development. Publications in Indian Journal of Pharmacology (IJP) are the face of contemporary pharmacology practices followed in healthcare - a knowledge-based profession. IJP publications depict the trends in terms of quantity (proportions), quality, type (preclinical/clinical), thrust areas, etc., of pharmacology followed by health-care professions both nationally and internationally. With identical pharmacology research principles, teaching and research institutes from medical and pharmacy streams contribute their research to IJP. This research article aims to establish temporal trends in pharmacology research by pharmacy institutes in light of its contributed publications to IJP from 2010 to 2015. The article disseminates the focus areas of research ongoing in pharmacy institutes and its impact/influence on/by pharmacology in terms of education, research and development, leaving open a discussion whether research and teaching need to be amended and establishing recommendations for resources or capacity building exercises to be implemented.


 » Methodology Top


The website of IJP was searched for publications year and issue wise for contributing authors from pharmacy institutions during 2010–2015.[2] The organization was identified as a pharmacy institute through names and addresses. Based on the geographical addresses, the publications were categorized as national and international and were further categorized to state wise if national, and country wise if international. The number/frequency of publications by these pharmacy institutes was counted issue wise and its percentage to total publications issue wise and year wise was calculated. Articles were categorized as editorial, educational forum, research article and review article, letter to the editor, drug watch, short communication, and book review. Research articles were further classified whether preclinical (animal studies) or clinical (human). Preclinical research was further categorized based on the investigational product whether a plant product/extract or chemical/synthetic product. Descriptive statistical analysis was conducted as per requirement.


 » Results Top


A total of 1034 articles were published in IJP from 2010 to 2015. Of these, 189 (18%) articles were published by pharmacy institutes [Table 1] of which 90% (n = 170) were contributed from pharmacy institutes within India while 10% (n = 19) publications were from countries such as China (4), USA (3), Turkey and Iraq (2), Iran, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tanzania, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, France (1), respectively. Within India, the top 5 contributing states included Karnataka (43), Maharashtra (25), Gujarat (21), Madhya Pradesh (18), and Tamil Nadu (13).
Table 1: Year-wise publications in Indian Journal of Pharmacology from Pharmacy Institutes

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Distribution of Article Type

Articles were categorized as editorial, educational forum, research article and review article, letter to the editor, drug watch, short communication, and book review. A good percent of research manuscripts were published from pharmacy institutes [Table 2]. Of 189 articles published from pharmacy institutes, 141 (74.60%) articles were research manuscripts as compared to 46% from institutes other than pharmacy; mostly medical and other biomedical institutes. Contributions in drug watch (16.5% vs. 1.6%), and case reports were comparatively less from pharmacy institutes.
Table 2: Distribution of articles published in Indian Journal of Pharmacology

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Categorizing Research

Research publications from pharmacy institutes were further classified into preclinical and clinical studies. Preclinical studies were further categorized based on the type of investigational product whether of plant extract or synthetic/drug product [Table 3]. Most of the publications from pharmacy institutes were researched on animals (92%) while only 8% were clinical studies. Most of the preclinical studies (64%) researched screening of plant extracts for their pharmacological actions as compared to drug studies (36%).
Table 3: Categorizing research publications in Indian Journal of Pharmacology

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The preclinical studies screened the plant extracts for various activities such as immunosuppressive properties, antidiabetic activity hepatoprotective effects, for inflammatory bowel disease, antiurolithiatic and antioxidant activity, against neurotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, obesity, anti-inflammatory and antiulcer activity, in acute renal failure, antidiarrheal, antinociceptive/analgesic activity, antihyperlipidemic, antidepressant/anxiolytic, etc.


 » Discussion Top


Scientific writing and publication mark the endpoint of research that has been performed, completed, peer-reviewed and accepted and complements teaching and training, clinical service and patient care.[3] Since 1969 IJP (ISSN 0253–7613) is an official publication of the Indian Pharmacological Society, a Peer-reviewed open access biomedical specialty periodical from India.[2] Publications in IJP are from the biomedical fraternity involving pharmacological aspects. Researchers from medical and pharmacy health-care profession contribute their science to IJP. The present manuscript presents temporal trends of pharmacology publications in IJP by pharmacy institutes. IJP’s website was searched for publications by contributing authors from pharmacy institutes from 2010 to 2015. A total of 1034 manuscripts were published in IJP in 6 years with an average of 172 publications per year. A total of 189 (18%) were from pharmacy institutes both from and outside India with an average of 31 publications per year. In India as per AICTE, there are 445 institutes offering pharmacy education to 24,672 students[4] and as per MCI, there are 462 institutes offering medical education to 63,535 students[5] pharmacy institutes offering masters in pharmacology approximate to 239 while 257 medical institutes offer 789 seats in MD – pharmacology and DM clinical pharmacology.[4],[5] Although number of pharmacy institutes have grown with time, the temporal trends in terms of the number of publications by pharmacy institutes has not increased. Most of the manuscripts were contributed from pharmacy institutes located in the Indian states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu which also house more number of pharmacy institutes.[4] Although IJP charges no publication fees, international contributors stood to 10% only, possibly influenced by number of factors such as scope of research, marketing strategy of publication house, citations, indexing, and impact factor of the journal.

Although publication volumes are comparatively low from pharmacy institutes, number of research manuscripts from pharmacy institutes was higher (75% vs. 46%) as compared to other biomedical institutes. The reasons may range from noble to base reasons including but not limited to postgraduate pharmacy curriculum, policies laid by regulators of pharmacy education, multi and interdisciplinary integration and collaboration, the pharmaceutical industry of the country, expanded role offered by pharmacists in healthcare, rich indigenous medical system, government policies supporting public-private partnerships and at the bottom of the list “necessary evil” for job or promotion.[4],[5],[6],[7] However, 64% of these research manuscripts studied in vitro, in vivo screening of phytochemical constituents of indigenous plant extracts or formulations for its pharmacological activity. The reason for this trend seems that phytochemical research is both cost and time effective. Medicinal plants are resources of new drugs[8] and pharmacological properties of an herbal formulation depend on phytochemical constituents present therein. However, in the present context, most of the plant research is limited to screening activity. Very few of these researched plant activity undergoes characterization and standardization of well-defined active constituents to undergo reliable clinical trials. Taking otherwise this trend may also translate not only as a cost and time effective mode of research but publication as well. Molecular and cellular pharmacology studies still need to the forefront of research by pharmacy institutes since 92% research by pharmacy institutes is preclinical as per present data. Preclinical studies are an integral part of drug development process. Pharmacy institutes with well-established animal house facilities can serve as research hubs in the drug development process. Regulatory Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Schedule Y preclinical studies can be integrated to pharmacy curricula.

In the present study, research trends in the clinical segment by pharmacy institutes averaged to 12%. With multi and interdisciplinary collaborations in the pharmacy profession, areas like clinical pharmacy can manipulate an accurate make use of medicines on before, during and after the prescription is written.[9] Thus, today’s pharmacist will evolve to conduct research in pharmacovigilance, prescription patterns, antibiotic use and misuse, drug adherence, drug interaction, nuclear medicine, and specialized areas of treatment.[10]

Study Limitation

This study has not made a comparative analysis between publications made by medical, pharmacy, and other biomedical institutes which could focus their relative contributory role. Furthermore, publications from 2010 to 2015 by pharmacy institutes only have been incorporated.

In conclusion, publication in IJP complements teaching and training, research and clinical service offered by biomedical community. Temporal Trends in pharmacology publications in IJP by pharmacy institutes infers that research by pharmacy institutes needs to be more science oriented with well-defined objectives leading to molecular and cellular pharmacology. With the increased responsibility and scope of pharmacy profession in health care, contributions in clinical studies stand as the need of the hour.

Financial Support and Sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
 » References Top

1.
Scheindlin S. A brief history of pharmacology. Mod Drug Discov 2001;4:87-91.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Indian Journal of Pharmacology. Available from: http://www.ijp-online.com/. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 11].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Peh W. Scientific writing and publishing: Its importance to radiologists. Biomed Imaging Interv J 2007;3:e55.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
All India Council of Technical Education Available from: http://www.indiaeducation.net/apexbodies/aicte/approved-pharmacy-institutes.aspx. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 12].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Medical Council of India. Available from: http://www.mciindia.org/. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 11].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Pharmacy College in India. Available from: https://www.targetstudy.com/colleges/mpharm-pharmacology-degree-colleges-in-india.html. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 11].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Pharmacy Council of India. Available from: http://www.pci.nic.in. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 12].  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Hepler CD, Strand LM. Opportunities and responsibilities in pharmaceutical care. Am J Hosp Pharm 1990;47:533-43.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]    
9.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/ncbi.html. [Last accessed on 2016 Oct 12].  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Carollo A, Adamo A, Di Giorgio C, Polidori P. The importance of clinical pharmacist counselling in improving patient medication adherence. Eur J Hosp Pharm 2013;20:A121.  Back to cited text no. 10
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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