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PSCI304 Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Time course of drug concentration (pharmacokinetics) and drug effect (pharmacodynamics) applied to pre-clinical and early clinical studies for drug development.

In this paper you will study the quantitative aspects of pharmacology.

Pharmacokinetics (PK) is the time-course of drug concentrations in the body when a medicine is administered and pharmacodynamics (PD) investigates the relationships between drug concentrations and therapeutic (beneficial) and toxic (harmful) effects.

When these two are put together (PKPD) you get an understanding the time-course of drug effects that occur after a medicine is administered.

Understanding PKPD is a critical step in the drug development pathway and after completion of this paper you will have developed skills in analysing PK and PD data and have a greater understanding of how this information is applied in the pharmaceutical industry to develop new medicines.

Paper title Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
Paper code PSCI304
Subject Pharmaceutical Science
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PSCI 201 or PHAL 211

Professor Natalie Medlicott

Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Professor Natalie Medlicott

Teaching staff: Associate Professor Hesham Al-Sallami

Professor Natalie Medlicott

Associate Professor Dan Wright

Paper Structure

PSCI304 will be taught through lectures and workshops covering the following general topics,

  • Mathematical concepts used in PKPD.
  • Pharmacokinetic concepts.
  • Pharmacodynamic concepts.
  • PKPD for introduction to the pharmaceutical industry.

Recommended Textbook - will be available through the University library.

Rosenbaum - Basic Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics: An integrated Textbook and computer simulations, 2nd edition.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

By completion of this paper students will be able to,

  1. Define pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) and describe the role of PKPD in drug development.
  2. Calculate and interpret key PKPD parameters from data.
  3. Understand the relationships between drug exposure and therapeutic and toxicological effects of medicines.
  4. Interpret aspects of PKPD use in drug development documentation.
  5. Communicate effectively information on drug PKPD for drug development.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 11:00-12:50 30-31, 33-34, 37, 40