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University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Adopts BioSoteria's eLearning Drug Safety Courses for its Curriculum

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, a nationally-recognized leader in pharmaceutical safety research and education, and BioSoteria, Inc., a drug safety services and education firm, have announced that the School is incorporating the eLadder Safety eLearning course series into its curriculum. The online drug safety courses from BioSoteria will form the core content of a special elective in pharmacovigilance to be offered at the School of Pharmacy.

In addition to assisting in the education of more than 600 Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) candidates each year, the School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research is home to the Center for Drug Safety, which has a mission to guide and inspire research and scholarship in pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety. The eLadder Safety curriculum will be used as the main content in a special regulatory sciences/pharmacovigilance elective offered to PharmD and PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents. Since BioSoteria's elearning platform was designed to integrate readily with any learning management system, the fully online course is readily accessible to enrolled students via the University of Maryland's Blackboard system.

"The adoption of eLadder Safety matches our Center's strategic goal of providing education on drug safety and pharmacovigilance through collaborations with public and private stakeholders," said Sheila Weiss Smith, PhD, a professor of pharmaceutical health services research and director of the Center for Drug Safety at the School of Pharmacy. "The new online regulatory science course will provide our students with an understanding of the practices pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies implement to monitor patient safety, and that understanding will help them be better pharmacists and researchers."

"Distance learning and web-based technologies have been an integral part of our curriculum since the 2007 expansion of our PharmD program to the Universities at Shady Grove ," said Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, Dean of the School of Pharmacy. "We expect our partnership with BioSoteria to yield additional benefits as we continue to utilize web-based technologies in innovative ways to teach and aid in the discovery, development, and use of medicines."

Since its founding in 2007, BioSoteria has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing pharmacovigilance education in addition to drug safety consulting and services. The company released courses in drug and device development and regulations, clinical safety surveillance, and postmarketing pharmacovigilance throughout 2009.

Because the courses are assessment-based, rich in multi-media, and developed by a faculty of leading pharmacovigilance experts, they have been extremely well received by drug safety and training professionals in biopharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations large and small. The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is the first professional school to adopt BioSoteria's eLadder Safety courses.

"As a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, I am very excited that my alma mater will be using eLadder Safety in its PharmD and PhD programs," said Sally Van Doren, PharmD, President and CEO of BioSoteria. "In light of the new U.S. Health Care bill and its provision to offer government grants for expanding health care professional school education in drug safety, this fulfills BioSoteria's vision to offer drug safety training in both private and public sector settings."

Founded in 1841, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is the fourth oldest school of pharmacy in the nation. The School is a thriving center for professional and graduate education, pharmaceutical care, research, and community service. Ranking ninth in the nation, the School strives to improve the health and well-being of society by aiding in the discovery, development and use of medicines. The School's PharmD program expanded to The Universities at Shady Grove in Montgomery County in the fall of 2007, and construction is underway for a $62 million, seven-story building adjacent to the School's Pharmacy Hall.

BioSoteria's eLadder Safety is a first-in-class eLearning curriculum in pharmacovigilance. The media-rich courses form a cohesive drug safety training program, with one course building on the other. Rather than a series of repackaged PowerPoint presentations, eLadder online courses are a multimedia experience, with practical engaging exercises and knowledge checks. Courses include (1) Drug and Device Development and Regulation, (2) Clinical Safety Surveillance, and (3) Postmarketing Pharmacovigilance.

Posting Date: 06/01/2010
Contact Name: Steve Berberich
Contact Phone: 410-706-0023
Contact Email: sberberich@umaryland.edu