|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2011)|
Drug discovery and development requires the integration of multiple scientific and technological disciplines. These include chemistry, biology, pharmacology, pharmaceutical technology and extensive use of information technology. The latter is increasingly recognised as Pharmacoinformatics.
Pharmacoinformatics may be defined as: Implementation and use of information technologies for the discovery and development of drugs as well as in pharmacy education. It sometimes is also referred as chembioinformatics.
Pharmacoinformatics, also referred to as pharmacy informatics, is the application of computers to the storage, retrieval and analysis of drug and prescription information. Pharmacy informaticists work with pharmacy information management systems that help the pharmacist make excellent decisions about patient drug therapies with respect to, medical insurance records, drug interactions, as well as prescription and patient information.
Pharmacoinformatics is the study of interactions between people, their work processes and engineered systems within health care with a focus on pharmaceutical care and improved patient safety.
Pharmacy informatics can be thought of as a sub-domain of the larger professional discipline of health informatics. Some definitions of pharmacy informatics reflect this relationship to health informatics. For example, the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) defines pharmacy informatics as, "the scientific field that focuses on medication-related data and knowledge within the continuum of healthcare systems - including its acquisition, storage, analysis, use and dissemination - in the delivery of optimal medication-related patient care and health outcomes"
M.S.(Pharm.) in Pharmacoinformatics started first time in National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER, Mohali (Punjab), India). It was started as the National Centre for Pharmacoinformatics in the year 2002 and was upgraded to the Department of Pharmacoinformatics in 2010. Now, since 2007 NIPER Kolkata and Hajipur are providing the same course with excellent facilities.
The main idea behind the field is to integrate different informatics branches (e.g. bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, immunoinformatics, etc.) into a single platform, resulting in a seamless process of drug discovery. The first dedicated department for Pharmacoinformatics was established at the National Institute Of Pharmaceutical Education And Research, S.A.S. Nagar, India in 2003. The term Pharmacoinformatics was coined by Prof. Prasad V. Bharatam, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, NIPER Mohali, India. This has been followed by different universities worldwide including a program by European universities named the European Pharmacoinformatics Initiative (EuroPIN). Recently the University of Vienna established a Full Professorship for Pharmacoinformatics with Gerhard F. Ecker as chair.