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CPH graduates first Qatari MSc holder | Qatar University

CPH graduates first Qatari MSc holder

Students doing research at the lab

Project unveiled milestone research on vancomycin dosing optimization

CPH graduated the first Qatari national holder of MSc degree in Pharmacy on December 10. Student Fatima Khalifa M A Al-Sulaiti presented her thesis titled “Clinical and Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of Optimal Monitoring Parameters and Sampling Schemes for Vancomycin Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Qatar”.

The project involved multiple phases and robust research methods across three hospitals in Qatar (Hamad General, Al-Wakrah and Al-Khor Hospitals) in an effort to determine the best approaches for vancomycin dosing optimization in Qatar’s heterogeneous population. The study explored the quality of routine vancomycin monitoring services in Qatar and compared the superiority of different vancomycin therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) approaches.

The project was supervised by CPH Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice Dr Ahmed Awaisu and co-supervised by CPH Associate Professor of Pharmacoeconomics Dr Daoud Al-Badriyeh, CPH Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Dr Hazem Elewa and Abb Vie Inc. Principal Scientist of Pharmacometrics Dr Ahmed Nader.

Fatima Khalifa M A Al-Sulaiti noted that gram-positive bacterial infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are associated with high mortality rate, prolonged length of hospitalization, and increased health care cost. She highlighted that these infections require appropriate and optimal management with safe and effective antibiotics. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is widely used globally to treat such serious gram-positive bacterial infections, she said, adding, “the drug is dosed based on the principles of TDM. Hence, it is necessary to design and provide patient-specific individualized dosing regimen to maximize efficacy and decrease toxicity.”

The study, first of its kind in Qatar, developed a vancomycin population-specific dosing model, which will allow population-specific calculations of vancomycin pharmacokinetic parameters in individual patients in Qatar’s clinical settings, an important tool in vancomycin dosing and therapy. It also identified the exact vancomycin monitoring practice deficiencies in the local setting, which will guide health policymakers to establish setting-specific protocols to improve TDM practices in Qatar.

CPH Dean Dr Mohammad Diab said: “The College of Pharmacy is proud to graduate the first female Qatari student with a Master’s degree. This is indeed historic for the College in its efforts towards human capital development among Qatari nationals. Ms Fatima’s research project on optimization of vancomycin therapeutic drug monitoring is instrumental in improving health outcomes among patients with serious infectious diseases. We at CPH are honored to work in alignment with Qatar National Health Strategy as this project will make a significant impact to pharmacy practice and health care outcomes in the State of Qatar. CPH is committed to its vision to be regionally and internationally recognized for distinctive excellence in education and research.”

Dr Ahmed Awaisu said: “Qatar National Vision 2030 and Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 both stressed on improved health outcomes as one of the main pillars towards Qatar’s national development. This project is a milestone towards the advancement of vancomycin TDM service in the country. Overall, it will contribute to guiding decision makers to design ways to optimize TDM services utilization, minimize costs, and increase positive outcomes of health care in Qatar. The findings of the project have important implications on developing strategies that will improve rational vancomycin monitoring practices in Qatar, the Middle East region and possibly worldwide.”