Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search
Post Nominals FFRPharmS, MRPharmS, MSc, PhD, IP
Biography Research interests

Alpana is an internationally renowned academic and expert policy adviser in the field of medication optimisation and patient safety with a particular focus on polypharmacy and safety and effective use of medicines in the context multimorbidity and health inequalities. She was awarded the title of Associate Professor in August 2021.

She has led EU projects with over 10 countries as the PI and project coordinator, totalling over £4.5M, SIMPATHY and iSIMPATHY. Outputs from these EU projects resulted in adoption of recommendations as DG Sante, European Commission level. and also invitation by WHO to be an expert adviser on medication safety for and commissioned to lead and action group on European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA) for the European Commission on Polypharmacy and Adherence as part of the European commission's aims to improve the healthy life years of the older person by two years. Alpana’s research in innovation in the management of polypharmacy through the years is complemented by research into change management approaches needed to implemented large scale change, so translating research into policy and practice. Alpana was also awarded funding building on her work as a Scottish Quality and Safety Improvement Fellow for developing healthcare services for Homeless people addressing prescribing and outreach service with partnership working with pharmacists and support workers. Through she developed collaborative working with colleagues at Harvard and at Brigham women's hospital and at Johns Hopkins. she continues to undertake research and publish with the special interest group on falls and deprescribing of the European Society of Geriatric medicine and is undertaking work on patients perspective on adherence with the university of Geneva, and Utrecht.

The iSIMPATHY project for which Alpana was the PI won the Causeway award in the Health and Well-being category, by the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. In recognition of her experience, she is an Honorary Senior clinical fellow at University of Edinburgh and affiliate at the Usher Institute, and hold honorary positions at Strathclyde, Robert Gordon University and positions with Denmark are in the process of being established.

Alpana is working with new international partners across 4 EU countries and developed research applications involving colleagues in ENU for EU digital and technology funding. She has also submitted applications with colleagues in the school and also from School of applied science on environmental impact of pharmaceuticals on health and CSO application for cardiovascular research. Alpana is working with the Substance Use Research network and also Older peoples network within ENU to build up research applications. As part of her strategic leadership role, Alpana has established a multidisciplinary special interest group across the SHSC to explore the translation of research into policy and practice.

Alpana is also working with Colleagues across the EU to explore how pharmacogenomics can play a role in medication safety and improve outcomes with medicines.

External Roles, Research and Strategic Leadership

Alpana has continued to expand her Global and international collaborative work as part of the scientific committee and executive board of International Foundation of Integrated Care and also ESPACOMP and is on the international editorial board of Journal of Patient Safety and Risk, as well as a reviewer of Journal of Integrated care and Frontiers in Pharmacy. Alpana leads work for WHO on Polypharmacy and an expert adviser for WHO on patient and medication safety and worked to develop the Third Global Patient Safety Challenge, Medication without Harm. She was asked to contribute to leading a subgroup on Systems and Practice of Medication Safety. For International Foundation of Integrated Care (IFIC), she coordinates the Special Interest Group on Appropriate polypharmacy & Adherence and is EU coordinator for work on Active and Healthy Aging on polypharmacy and adherence to treatment.

Alpana has been external supervisor for PhD and Masters at Edinburgh and UCL respectively and also been asked to be an external examiner for PhD. Through her international key notes, she had been asked to teach Masters and undergraduate Students for European universities for multiprofessional teams, including Eastern European countries

Alpana has reviewed grants both international and in the UK and has also provided mentorship and support for staff developing their teaching skills and students developing professional practice in the areas of prescribing.

Professional Practice & and Research impact on Policy Development

Through her international work on SIMPATHY, iSIMPATHY , WHO and EIP AHA, Alpana established wider links across global partners including South America, America, Australia and South east Asia. She was asked to lead EU discussions to develop strategies to address improving healthy life years of the older person and also to represent DG Sante, European Commission at a WHO meeting in Japan. WHO asked her to lead a technical report as lead author on addressing polypharmacy Globally, Medication Safety in Polypharmacy and she was asked to lead on sections of the WHO Patient Safety Action Plan 2030. Alpana continues to serve as an expert adviser for WHO and has undertaken mission work to regions in the WHO working with their ministries of Health.

Alpana has been working with European and International Professional bodies to develop policy on addressing Medication Safety and the role of the wider MDT in doing this work. This includes the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare, who have called for the work of iSIMPATHY and SIMPATHY to be translated across the EU. Alpana’s work on SIMPATHY and iSIMPATHY has been translated into policy across Scotland and she is working with colleagues across the UK to translate this into mainstream practice.

Alpana has a substantive role at Scottish Government where she is responsible for coordinating delivery of Governments work programme, advising Ministers on Quality, Prescribing, safety and effective use of medicines, and leading international work on medication safety with Malawi and Zambia. She is responsible for development of National Polypharmacy guidance, and quality prescribing guidelines, patient app and shared decision-making tools.

Career History
Alpana has had a portfolio career working across multiple sectors in pharmacy including academia at Sunderland, Nottingham and Aberdeen Universities. She holds a masters in Clinical pharmacy practice from Kings College London and Advanced Leadership Masters from Harvard and ENU. She has a PhD from University of Dundee Medical School and Diplomas in advanced practice in Diabetes, Substance misuse and respiratory. She qualified as an independent prescriber over 15 years ago and continues to work as a prescriber in the Homeless Practice, supporting safety and effective use of medicines for a vulnerable population. Alpana was previously the Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland.
Research Interests Polypharmacy, Patient and Medication Safety, Adherence, Prescribing practice, Clinical Pharmacy Practice, Change management , Implementation Science, pharmacogenomics , pharmacoeconomics and deprescribing
Teaching and Learning Clinical Pharmacy Practice, Prescribing Practice, Polypharmacy, Antimicrobial use, Prescribing & Medication safety indicators and Governance
PhD Supervision Availability Yes
PhD Topics Prescribing Practice
Appropriate Polypharmacy
Multiprofessional working
Improving Adherence
Medcines optimisation
Environmental Impacts & Sustainable use of Pharmaceuticals