The APS Blog On Blogging!

Having willingly agreed to write a blog for the APS I thought I should have a think and asked myself the following questions:

* What makes a good blog?

* What do people want to read when you can find anything at your fingertips?

* Who will read this blog anyway!

So as with any form of research I looked at what other blogs are out there in pharmacy and I found plenty, if you are interested the top 50 (yes 50!) pharmaceutical blogs can be found here:

The range of blogs is vast with emphasis on regulatory decisions to the very latest pharmaceutical innovations. I also found podcasts and videos for those using this blog as a signpost.

So, in this age of information overload and with emphasis on digital media who should this blog be aimed at? I write a personal blog which is very much aimed at the public to promote engagement with my research so perhaps this APS blog should reach out to the public to share our science!

There are plenty of really interesting medical books (I can recommend all those by Mary Roach) yet a search for popular science books on pharmaceutical science brings up Ben Goldacre’s book, “Bad Pharma” which does not deal with the science of dosage form design. Perhaps there is space in the market for a book about how medicines are made. It could include the history of using flying saucer sweets as medicines to mask the unpleasant taste and work through to the current frustrations with the word tablet now meaning a portable electronic device rather than a compressed powder! Perhaps this blog should seek to explore these topics and eventually we can compile a book!

So how can APS reach out to the public to share interesting pharmaceutical science stories with the public? As a new member of the APS board and incoming chair of the biopharmaceutics workstream I will share some exciting news from this facet of pharmaceutical science!

The human intestine is fascinating to us all with several really interesting popular science books to tell you more (Mary Roach’s book Gulp; Giulia Enders’ book Gut and Charles Spence’s book Gastrophysics being my top 3!). However, most general interest relates to how we balance what goes in with what comes out… How can we eat what we want and not gain weight? Plus the science of excrement is fascinating to all of us. SO for biopharmaceutics how come the amount of drug absorbed is different depending on how it is presented to our intestines? How can pharmaceutical science make a difference to how much drug is absorbed, or for those environmentalists how much is excreted into our waste systems?

We can really think of the intestine as a tube where we want to maximise absorption by making sure that the drug hits the walls of the tube in a form that is ready to traverse that intestinal membrane. A soluble drug at high concentrations is the best way to ensure absorption. Adding excipients that promote solubilising the drug are one way to improve bioavailability; other ways can include

retention of dosage forms to prolong the time taken to transit the tube. If you want to learn more wait for the next blog post or come to the Biopharm basics meeting in June!

Anyone with other ideas for the blog (or to contribute to a future pop-science book on pharmaceutical science please get in touch!)


Hannah Batchelor – APS Board