PHR2021 - How Medicines Work III - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Joseph Nicolazzo


Dr Joseph Nicolazzo
Dr Manish Gupta (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


PHR1011 Professional Practice I

PHR1021 How Medicines Work I

PHR1031 How the Body Works

PHR1012 Professional Practice II

PHR1022 How Medicines Work II


This unit will provide students with a detailed understanding of the specific biopharmaceutical and formulation considerations for various drug delivery routes, including intravenous, subcutaneous, intramuscular, oral, transdermal, pulmonary, nasal, buccal, sublingual, rectal, vaginal and ocular routes and for targeted and modified drug delivery. This unit will also address specific issues to be considered when formulating and dispensing medicines and the differences in quality, activity and toxicity that may arise from variability in manufacturing and formulation processes, with a focus on Good Manufacturing Practice. This unit will also highlight the innovative formulation approaches that are currently under investigation for the targeted delivery of therapeutics.


In the context of a medicine/drug and/or patient:

  1. Explain the importance of drug properties, clinical need and desired therapeutic outcome on the choice of dosage form and route of administration for a particular medicine
  2. Describe the biopharmaceutical barriers that apply to various routes of administration
  3. When changing routes of administration, calculate the correct dose required to obtain the same therapeutic effect
  4. Given a formulation, explain the rationale for the dosage form and inclusion of each of the excipients
  5. Prepare common formulations encountered in a pharmacy setting
  6. Describe the development and formulation principles for a stable therapeutic macromolecule
  7. Analyse Quality Assurance and Good Manufacturing Practices and interpret how they apply to compounding
  8. Demonstrate proficiency in fundamental pharmaceutical calculations


Final examination 40%; in-semester assessment 60%

Workload requirements

  • Seventy-two hours of independent study
  • Twenty-four hours of pre-learning activities (up to 2 hours per week)
  • Twenty-four hours of active learning lectures (2 hours a week)
  • Twenty-four hours of small group classes including assessment (2 hours per week)
  • One 2-hour written examination

See also Unit timetable information

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: