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May 28, 2022

Using GastroPlus to teach complex biopharmaceutical concepts

Abstract

Context: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many educational adjustments had to be made to move in-person teaching to online classrooms. This report showcases the use of the software GastroPlus in an undergraduate-level pharmacy course.

Programme description: This course aimed for the students to learn how to perform a mechanistically based simulation to predict the oral absorption pattern, pharmacokinetics, and biopharmaceutics properties of compounds in humans. The computer simulation offered the opportunity to teach concepts about bioavailability providing all kinds of experience with major biopharmaceutic determinants that affect systemic drug exposure.

Evaluation: The advantage of this approach was seen by the enhanced performance on the biopharmaceutics questions on the final exam compared with the previous year where the laboratory was not implemented: An increase from 2019 (where no laboratory was implemented) through 2021 incorrect scores from 52, 76 to 75%, respectively.

Conclusion: There is great benefit in using computer programs and simulations as a technique to enhance active learning and to educate pharmacy students in salient aspects of biopharmaceutics.

By Daniela Amaral Silva, M. Kenneth Cor, Afaseneh Lavasanifar, Neal M. Davies, Raimar Löbenberg

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