Mrhar, Aleš

Professor Aleš Mrhar
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

After finishing his pharmacy internship, Ales Mrhar (PhD, MPharm) became associated with the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Chair for Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics as Assistant Professor in 1976 and Full Professor
for Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics with Pharmacokinetics in 1994. He has worked as post-doctorate fellow at the NCTR in Jefferson (Arkansas, USA) in July 1984 and three times (September 1988, June 1990 and October 1992) at the University of Trieste (Italy). For 4 years (1991-1995) he has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana and for 8 years (2001-2009) as the Head of the Biopharmaceutic and Pharmacokinetic Chair. Additionally he has been engaged from 2006 to 2008 as a visiting professor for pharmacology at the Medical Faculty of the Univeristy of Maribor.
He has acted as a mentor to more than 180 diplomants, 23 specializants, 24 master degree and 17 PhD students.
His research interests include development of in vitro and in vivo tests in biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics, development of experimental models for studying interactions, transport and metabolism of drugs in biological systems of increasing complexity, pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic analysis using compartmental and hybrid models, statistic and computer aided design of drug delivery systems, development of site-specific microspheres for intravesical and colonic delivery, pharmacoepidemiologic and pharmacoeconomic analysis, and finaly outcomes research (clinical, economic and humanistic outcomes in relation to drug medical treatments).
Ales Mrhar is author and co-author of 167/206 articles published in international peer-reviewed journals with 1029/1288 pure citations (source: WoS/Scopus, status: 21 February 2017). He is recipient of the national award for the achievements in research on the field of mathematical modeling and computer simulation in pharmacokinetics, in 1990. Moreover, from the very beginning he has been developing strong collaboration with national and international pharmaceutical industry in terms of running more than 50 basic and applied projects in the fields of pharmaceutical technology, biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics, and pharmacoeconomics. He is also the member of editorial board of Acta Pharmaceutica, an international journal that publishes articles dealing with pharmaceutical sciences and related fields. Since 2001 he acts also as a guest editor of International Journal of Pharmaceutics and European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
In 1996 Ales Mrhar was elected president of the Section for Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Slovenian Pharmaceutical Society. In this capacity he joined EUFEPS, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Sciences, first as a Council member, later as Committee for Congresses and Conferences member and finnaly as Executive Committee member for the term 2002-2004. At the same time he was appointed President of The Central European Symposium on Pharmaceutical Technology and Biotechnology, which has been organized under the patronage of EUFEPS biennialy since 1995, lastly in 2016 for the 11th time in Beograd (Serbia).
Since 2001 Ales Mrhar is actively involved in research and eductions activities in the area of clinical pharmacy with the aim to implement the principles of rational drug usage in healthcare systems. In this capacity he is responsible for collaboration between academic institutions and hospitals on national and international levels. He has managed more than 10 successful projects and published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed national and international journals proving that clinical pharmacist with knowledge from the areas of medicinal chemistry, drug delivery systems, clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics is an indispensable healthcare provider. Moreover, the results of these studies clearly show that by this support clinical, humanistic and economic outcomes are significantly improved.

Translation of Clinical Pharmacy Research into Practice: a Slovenian Case

Clinical pharmacists in Slovenia have succeeded in the development and application of all relevant research methodologies to maximize the clinical effect of medicines, minimize the risk of treatment-induced adverse events and minimize the expenditures for drug treatments.
On the basis of numerous original research articles published in leading journals at the area of outcomes research (1,2), two types of clinical pharmacy services are currently in the process of implementation in community care and in hospitals.
In community care Medication use review is offered in community pharmacies, while in community health centres and in nursing homes a practice of pharmacist consultant service is available as Advanced medication review. Medication use review includes medication history and patient information, whereas Advanced medication review is based on medication history, patient information and clinical information, which is obtained from patient’s medical records. The practice of pharmacist consultant is started by a general practitioner who identifies either patients with potential drug adverse reactions or patients with potential drug-drug interactions in the case of polypharmacotherapy. These patients and their medical records are referred to the pharmacist. The pharmacist’s report is sent back to the general practitioner who optimizes the pharmacotherapy in accordance with the patients. The acceptance rate of pharmacist’s proposals is approximately 70%. The practice of pharmacist consultant is financed as the regular health program by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia since 2016.
A full scale model of clinical pharmacy activities in clinics and hospitals has been introduced as early as in 2007. They are performed in the wards at the patients’ bedside and in the hospital management system. Clinical pharmacists participate in medical rounds, perform Advanced medication review, implement Medication reconciliation process, perform Therapeutic drug monitoring activities and prepare Drug formularies. Additionally, they participate in hospital committees for drugs, antibiotics and hospital infections, take an active role in creating pharmacotherapeutic guidelines and start setting up clinical pharmacy departments.

1. Roblek T., Mrhar A., Lainščak M. et al. Int J Cardiol 2016, 203: 647–652.
2. Čufar A., Mrhar A., Robnik Šikonja M. Artif Intell Med 2015, 64 (2): 147-158.