A snapshot of research output of selected clinical pharmacologists in Nigeria

[Speaker] Joseph O Fadare:1
[Co-author] Olayinka O Ogunleye:2
1:Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria, 2:Lagos State University College of Medicine and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Research is a core component of the responsibilities of clinical pharmacologists worldwide. This is in addition to other functions such as training both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and providing clinical services. In general, research should focus on solving societal problems; this is more important in resource limited settings like Nigeria. The main objective of this study was to investigate the research output of Nigerian clinical pharmacologists with a view to assess its' relevance and focus regarding health-related problems in the country.
A review of PubMed listed publications of six selected clinical pharmacologists between January 1, 2007 till November 30, 2017 was carried out. Selection was based on experience and quantity of research output. There are about 20 clinical pharmacologists in Nigeria at the moment out which three senior (>10 years post-specialization) and three junior (<10 years post-specialization) were selected. Publications co-authored by two or more of the selected researchers were counted as one. The publications were grouped into themes for ease of analysis.
Initial literature search yielded 172 relevant publications out of which 157 were included for final analysis after screening out repeated co-authored publications. Most papers were in the area of malaria chemotherapy (91; 60%), drug utilization research (18; 12%), pharmacovigilance (17; 11%) and alternative/complementary medicines (6; 4%). The thematic areas of geriatric pharmacology and pharmacokinetics recorded only 4 publications each while there were three publications apiece on pharmacology education and drug interactions. The thematic areas of palliative care (2;1%), drug information (2; 1%) and pharmacoeconomics (1;1%) recorded the lowest numbers of papers (Figure 1)
Figure 1: Number of publications according to thematic areas
There is significant research output in the area of malaria chemotherapy; this is excellent given the endemic nature of malaria in the country. However, there is paucity of research publications in other important areas of chemotherapy of HIV/TB, non-communicable diseases and geriatric pharmacology. There is an urgent need to refocus research priorities towards these thematic areas.

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