EuPFI 2018

I spent the last 3 days at the European Paediatric Formulation Initiative’s annual conference. This is a meeting dedicated to better understanding of children’s medicines and how we can work to improve them. It was the 10 year anniversary of the meeting so it was an opportunity to celebrate. However, it became apparent that there are still relatively few bespoke age-appropriate medicines available for children and that there is still a long way to go. On the positive side there was so much enthusiasm to get there so I remain hopeful.

A highlight of the meeting was the involvement of 2 young people who were able to chair a panel discussion and contribute to the meeting. In addition it was great to have a parent representative to speak about the day to day tribulations involved in administration of medicines to children.

The meeting closed with a talk by Professor Charles Spence from the University of Oxford. He has looked at how sounds and surroundings impact on taste. Most of his work has been at the high-end restaurants rather than the routine dosing of medicines but there was plenty of food for thought in his presentation. If you want to know more here is a sample of his work:

Tasting spoons: Assessing how the material of a spoon affects the taste of the food, Piqueras-Fiszman et al. Food Quality and Preference 24 (2012) 24–29

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Writing challenge

I have accepted an invitation to participate in a writing challenge  – 14 days in October for making writing a priority

I hope that this will help me re-engage with writing for research and look at ways to include writing in my every day working life. Hopefully there will be direct benefits to this blog!

I find that writing can be a really therapeutic exercise and helps to organise my thoughts into actions which is always a stress-buster!

We need to celebrate writing and I will ensure that some of my writing is aimed at information for young people 🙂

 

University promotion of my research

I was really pleased to find a University of Birmingham leaflet in my post yesterday, particularly as it had a short piece on my research.

It included a link to this website.

On the webpages you can see poems that are read by children expressing how they feel about taking medicines on a regular basis. These poems are powerful as they allow children to express themselves in their own language to tell their story. The use of poetry can be a great tool for patients to put their feelings and experiences into their own words.

Poem 1: It makes me feel blue

Poem 2: You ask me why I say No

Poem 3: Medicine medicine

EuPFI 2017

Last week I attended the European Paediatric Formulation Initiative annual conference in Warsaw.

This is always a great meeting full of people working hard to ensure that age-appropriate medicines are available to children. Particular highlights from the meeting included:

An inspirational talk by Catherine Litalien about the specific needs in Canada (http://gpfccanada.com/)- she also shared a video that certainly makes the point in a very emotive way.

I was also inspired by a talk that brought the technology from food sciences (via PepsiCo) into medicines to look at novel ways to mask the taste of medicines.

Another highlight was hearing the story of the development of a new formulation of hydrocortisone to provide parents/carers and most importantly children with an easier way to take their medicines. Martin Whitaker told the story of Infacort(R) and the plans for this to be available for children and families very soon.

Some of my own work was shared via my research students. Justyna Czarnocka gave an excellent presentation on measuring the mouthfeel of films using tribology to optimise new formulations for children. Cameron Watson won a poster prize for his work describing how parents currently administer hydrocortisone to their children and the accuracy of the dosing.

 

RCPCH & us….

Last week I attended the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health annual conference. This forum brings together researchers passionate about the health of children.

I was particularly inspired by the young people from TRANSform talking about issues in transgender teenagers and providing a voice – all very powerful.

There were whole sessions planned by young people and this should become the norm going forwards

http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/improving-child-health/us-voice-children-young-people-and-families/us-voice-children-young-people-an