After completing his Pharmacy degree at Brighton, Paul pursued his interest in clinical pharmacy and passion for science with pre-registration training at Guys Hospital, and post-graduate research at University College London, leading to his Doctorate in 1996. Paul is particularly known for the breadth of his knowledge and experience in pharmaceutical formulation science, where he has made a major contribution to the development of many medicines by virtue of his strong formulation design knowledge and expertise, focusing around patient needs. These include - transdermal products (Elan) - soft gel and fast melts (R P Scherer and Pfizer) - a novel, patented oropharyngeal delivery system (Pfizer) - Oral, dermal, and inhaled products (Vectura). Paul’s CV lists a significant number of patents which he had filed and/or held, which is a great recognition of the innovation employed in these varied formulation design projects.
In 2007, Paul re-joined Pfizer to lead a research group focused on product enhancement. Paul is known for combining a deep knowledge of drug formulation and delivery with focus on clinical outcomes. A key achievement during this phase of his career was the design and development of a novel “in house” orally disintegrating tablet platform for both Viagra® and Norvasc®.
Paul’s interest in the relationship between drug delivery and clinical outcomes is clearly shown through his numerous publications. These include peer-reviewed pharmaceutical science papers and presentations, in addition to many publications related to patient prescribing across a broad range of therapeutic areas. Paul is also known for his enthusiasm and commitment in developing others and specifically, supporting the training of pharmacists. Paul has held long-term teaching commitments to two of the London Pharmacy Schools at UCL and KCL. Paul has been a visiting lecturer at these two schools of pharmacy for more than 20 years, and he has provided this support while doing a full-time, demanding role in industry.
It is testament to his enthusiasm and passion for education of pharmacists, that Paul has dedicated his personal time to support these establishments. He was also a key member of the Pfizer pre-registration team from 2007 – 2011. During this time, Paul helped build a successful partnership with several hospital and community pharmacies in order to offer industrial pre-registration placements. Paul was an inspiring tutor, promoting the role of the industrial pharmacist, always ensuring a close focus on patient needs.
In 2011 Paul switched from product development to medical affairs and took a position as Senior Director with the newly created Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Thanks to his knowledge of the science behind Viagra® and his familiarity with international pharmacy, he was asked to head up the medical team that would go on to switch Viagra® from Rx to OTC in several markets. This work involved Paul talking to over 1000 pharmacists around the world to understand what pharmacists needed in order to ensure that men got the right advice as to whether they should use the product. This 8-year programme involved consultation with many regulatory agencies (FDA, TGA, EMA, MHRA etc), medical organisations and pharmacy associations including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. The latter were invaluable in the development of pharmacy facing education and training and the results of this work can be found at https://www.viagraconnect.co.uk/
During this time Paul also worked on various other innovative switch programmes in pain management, women’s health, sleep disorders and in GI health, where again he demonstrated his commitment to pharmacy by working with pharmacists all over the world on the successful Nexium® reclassification. He now heads the switch group at Sanofi. In summary, Paul is known for promoting the role of the pharmacist, for innovative product development, for supporting Rx to OTC switches, and for considering the patient perspective as a guiding principle of his work.
What does being a Fellow mean to me?
I have been lucky to work with many inspiring pharmacists and other scientific experts during my career and it is testament to these individuals.
At Brighton this included the excellent teaching staff at the time, including Professors Marriott, Martin, Gard, Horne, Davies and the legendary Pam Graham. At Guys, I worked with the Andy Kostrzewski, Douglas Maclean and later with Aamer Safdar. At UCL School of Pharmacy, Professors Craig, Taylor, Bates and Gaisford and Drs Lloyd and Williams and of course Dave McCarthy. Thanks to all the “SOPSAP” cricketers making it a very enjoyable time.
At KCL Professors Martini, Martin, Marriott Hylands and Brown. Special mention to Dr Graham, Jackson, Dr David Edwards, Professors Hackett Giuliano, and Kirby, to Dr Irwin Goldstein and Dr Terry Maguire.
Thanks to all of those in our industry colleagues past and present, you know who you are!! Huge thanks to Professor John Staniforth, Drs Williams, Clarke, Bajwa and McGovern for their support and guidance.
Finally, to Paul Knowles who walked with me on the early journey, to my family, my children and above all Nicola, who made this all possible, I share this honour with you.