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Prof Nicholas Barber
Mezzanine Floor
BMA House Tavistock Sq
Tel: 07790905559
Prof Nicholas Barber profile picture
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Practice & Policy
  • UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

Following a PhD in clinical pharmacology, Professor Barber lectured as a pharmacologist before entering hospital pharmacy, where he was a trainer before running hospital pharmacies at the National Heart Hospital and at Oldchurch General Hospital.  He joined the School in 1990 in a joint appointment with the NHS as a Director of Clinical Pharmacy.  He has been a Professor at the School since 1992.  He has an international research reputation in the fields of medication errors and in Pharmacy Practice. 

Since 2007, Professor Barber has been joint Chair of the Centre for Medication Safety and Service Quality. From 2004-7 he was Visiting Fellow in Information Systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and he has been a visiting Professor in Patient Safety at Harvard Medical School.  He is a former Vice-President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and presented the BBC series Victorian Pharmacy.

Research Summary

Professor Barber’s areas of research focus on the good and the bad with respect to medicines, society and the individual, and the role that pharmacy plays in this.  Research on the philosophy of good prescribing and of pharmacy helps define the ‘good’.  Research on decision making at the policy and individual levels examines how these factors work, and are opposed, in practice.  The major portion of his work is in the area of the risks of using medicines incorrectly - by patients (nonadherence) or by professionals (medication errors).  Professor Barber is particularly interested in the assessment of the use of technology to reduce errors, and in the development and evaluation of services to reduce errors and to improve adherence.

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