Association for Human Pharmacology in the Pharmaceutical Industry annual meeting proceedings

Scientists and historians in the trouble-free pre-COVID era discussed academically about how a worldwide pandemic was overdue. However, few would have imagined the impact that this relatively innocuous virus would have on the world, least of all on science.

If you need no other proof that COVID-19 has impacted on every aspect of science in the last 12 months you can find it in the scientific literature. One estimate suggested that in just 6 months, the major scientific databases were flooded with research articles, letters, reviews, notes, and editorials related to the virus. Over half of the 23,000+ unique published articles indexed on Web of Science and Scopus between 1 January and 30 June 2020 were focused on COVID-19 [1].

Despite the literature’s fascination with the virus everyday science has continued waiting patiently for its day in the sun. Over a year since our 2019 Association for Human Pharmacology in the Pharmaceutical Industry (AHPPI; annual meeting, the proceedings have just been published [2:]. Although AHPPI was founded over 30 years ago, the association remains relevant and forward thinking. The title for the 2019 meeting was, ‘Impending changes, innovation and future challenges.’ The intent was to consider strategies that might be employed by the pharmaceutical industry in the changing landscape of the second decade of the 21th century. 

In the autumn of 2019, our discussions were around the technical revolution in pharmaceutical medicine over the four decades since the association was founded. COVID-19 didn’t just impact on publications, around the world scientific associations cancelled their annual congresses many moving to online solutions. The AHPPI board decided in June this year that it would need to postpone its own meeting, delivering instead a free, half-day series of Christmas lectures. If you want to know how the future of pharmaceutical development looked in 2019 then read our paper, register for our Christmas Lectures if you want to hear how it looks now:


1          Teixeira da Silva, J.A., Tsigaris, P. & Erfanmanesh, M. Publishing volumes in major databases related to Covid-19. Scientometrics (2020).

2          Khan S, Albayaty M, Bush J, et al. The Association for Human Pharmacology in the Pharmaceutical Industry London Meeting October 2019: Impending Change, Innovation, and Future Challenges. Front Pharmacol 2020; 11:1760-1770. DOI=10.3389/fphar.2020.580560