ASCPT & FDA William B. Abrams Award Lecture

The William B. Abrams Lecture is a joint educational initiative of ASCPT and the FDA. The lecture series, supported in part by The Merck Company Foundation, was established in 1999 to honor William B. Abrams, MD, an ASCPT president from 1975 to 1976.

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Abrams worked at the FDA as the first special government employee to establish the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Staff College and develop its curriculum. He also had a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry as a longtime employee of Merck Research Laboratories.

For more than 10 years, ASCPT and the FDA have invited experts from academia, industry, and government to discuss advances in clinical pharmacology and drug development. These scientists have excelled in their specialty areas and are some of the most highly esteemed clinical pharmacologists in the field. Their presentations convey novel information and perspectives on fundamental aspects of clinical pharmacology. Previous lectures have included speakers from the Mayo Clinic, University of California, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, and the National Institutes of Health.
Please click here for a list of previous winners.

2021 ASCPT & FDA William B. Abrams Lecture

Abrams M Paine
The 2021 ASCPT & FDA William Abrams Lecture Award recipient is Mary F. Paine, PhD, RPh from Washington State University.

Title: Natural Product-Drug Interaction Research: Digging Through the Intricacies to Uncover Mechanisms and Improve Pharmacotherapy
Date: May 19, 2021
Workshop Recording: Please visit the Members-Only Online Library

Lecture Description
The marketing and sales of botanical and other natural products (NPs) for health and wellness benefits continue to thrive worldwide. NPs are often used to supplement prescribed pharmacotherapeutic regimens, increasing the risk for adverse NP-drug interactions. Common pharmacokinetic mechanisms underlying NP-drug interactions include inhibition and induction of drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters by the NP, leading to altered systemic and/or tissue drug exposure and potentially, negative health outcomes. Unlike for drug-drug interactions, there are no harmonized recommendations for assessing NP-drug interactions. Because NPs are inherently complex and variable chemical mixtures, a multidisciplinary effort involving clinical pharmacologists, NP chemists, biomedical informaticists, and health communications experts is needed for rigorous assessment and dissemination of the drug interaction liability of NPs. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health established the Center of Excellence for Natural Product Drug Interaction Research in 2015. One deliverable of the Center is a set of recommended approaches to guide researchers in the optimal conduct of NP-drug interaction studies. These recommendations are based on results generated from a series of completed and ongoing interaction projects examining methodically selected NPs as precipitants of potential clinically significant pharmacokinetic NP-drug interactions. The aggregate data are being entered into a repository, which is disseminated to researchers via a website (napdicenter.org). The efforts of the Center should lead to improved design of future NP-drug interaction research and ultimately, evidenced-based information for health care providers, educators, and consumers about how best to manage these complex interactions. 

  • Paine MF, Shen DD, McCune JS. Recommended approaches for pharmacokinetic natural product-drug interaction research: a NaPDI Center commentary. Drug Metab Dispos 46:1041-5, 2018.
  • Johnson EJ, Gonzalez-Perez V, Tian DD, Lin YS, Unadkat JD, Rettie AE, Shen DD, McCune JS, Paine MF. Selection of priority natural products for evaluation as potential precipitants of natural product-drug interactions: a NaPDI Center recommended approach. Drug Metab Dispos 46:1046-52, 2018.
  • Kellogg JJ, Paine MF, McCune JS, Oberlies NH, Cech NB. Selection and characterization of botanical natural products for research studies: a NaPDI Center recommended approach. Nat Prod Rep 36:1196-1221, 2019.
  • Birer-Williams C, Gufford BT, Chou E, Alilio M, VanAlstine S, Morley RE, McCune JS, Paine MF, Boyce RD. A new data repository for pharmacokinetic natural product-drug interactions: from chemical characterization to clinical studies. Drug Metab Dispos 48:1104-12, 2020.
Learning Objectives
  • Discuss the rationale for evaluating the impact of natural products on the pharmacokinetics of drugs.
  • Demonstrate the challenges and potential solutions pertaining to pharmacokinetic natural-drug interactions that extend beyond drug-drug interactions.
Target Audience
This activity is intended for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, FDA scientific community, and other health professionals who review medical products, perform regulatory science research, and set regulatory science policy.

If you have any questions about the ASCPT & FDA Abrams Award please contact Megan McBeath Hay.

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