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Issue October 2000

GD Internal
Department Dermatotherapy
Working Priorities of Interdisciplinary Importance

After the departments Dermocosmetics, Extemporaneous Preparations, Dermatopharmacology already acting since 1997, the recently established department Dermatotherapy of the Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie (GD) [Society for Dermopharmacy] has assumed its tasks. This department will equally treat subjects of interdisciplinary importance in the sense of the GD's interdisciplinary character. Among these subjects there is the pharmaco-economy in the field of dermatotheraphy, the methodology of patient-information and -consultation as well as the ensuring of the clinical effectiveness of "orphaned" dermatological active substances (orphan drugs).
After the ordinary general meeting of the GD had come to the decision in Berlin last year to establish the department Dermatotherapy, the constituent assembly has now taken place on initiative of the managing committee. For this purpose 17 ordinary members met on the occasion of the dermatologic training in Munich end of July. In addition, several representatives of the GD's sponsoring members as well as a representative of the Berufsverband der Deutschen Dermatologen (Professional Association of the German Dermatologists) took part in the first meeting. Topics of the agenda have been the discussion and definition of future main points of activity as well as the election of the department head and his deputy.

Dermatologist Dr Matthias Augustin, assistant medical director at the Universitäts-Hautklinik (University Dermatology Clinic), Freiburg has been elected department head. He is considered to be an expert in the field of pharmaco-economy within the dermatotherapy. Dr. Burkhard Kleuser of the department Pharmacy of the Freie Universiät Berlin (Free University) as well as the graduate ecotrophologist Anne Kilburg of the Institut für empirische Gesundheitsökonomie Burscheid (Institute for Empirical Sanitary Economy), two non-physicians will assist him in their function as vice-department heads. A third deputy which is planned to come from the sector of the pharmaceutical industry is still searched for.

Pharmaco-economy within Dermatotherapy
When defining its main fields of activity the department has attached great importance not to bring about a competitive situation in relation to the Deutsche Dermatologische Gesellschaft (DDG) [German Dermatologic Society] with which the GD pursues a cooperation on a formal basis. As Dr. Augustin emphasized, the GD's planned commitment in the field of pharmaco-economy finds the explicit approval of the DDG's managing committee. Augustin expressed his thanks to the GD that they are prepared to take this still young partial sector of dermatotherapy marked by interdisciplinarity into consideration in their spectrum of subjects in future.

Pharmaco-economy - as part of sanitary economy - deals with the investigation of economic efficiency of drugs and therapy treatments. In view of the fact that the resources in the sanitary sector run short, it has to be reckoned with a steadily increasing influence of the findings of these investigations regarding the drug selection in the field of dermatology in future. The GD department therefore intends to coordinate the scientific activities in this field and spread latest findings about this subject for the benefit of the expert and the general public. For the realization of the last-mentioned objective the well-known Freiburg symposium regarding the sanitary economy in the dermatology which has been organized twice in self-initiative so far by the Freiburg Skin Clinic is to take place every second year starting from the year 2002 in the course of the GD's Annual Meetings and is planned to be integrated in the GD's public relations.

Offers for Physicians and Pharmacists

Besides the pharmaco-economy, subjects in the department work will also be dealt with which are of particular interest for pharmacists working at the pharmacy laboratory and dermatologists in practice. The department offers the professional organization of pharmacists to give support as to development and practical realization of models for the pharmaceutical care of patients suffering from skin diseases. Furthermore, the possibilities and limitations for self-medication of frequently experienced dermatoses are to be defined for the benefit of pharmacists' orientation.

The planned treatment of the "orphan drugs" is intended to be an assistance for dermatologists. The department will make a strong effort that those active substances which are for instance used in dermatologic "niche indications" and are regarded there as indispensable, should be preserved for therapy. For this purpose controlled clinical studies in the sense of an evidence-based medicine should be initiated (orphan studies). Furthermore, it is taken in consideration to check certain dermatologic therapy procedures in intervention studies.

A special matter of concern of the department is the furtherance of cooperation between physician and pharmacist in the field of patient information. For this objective interdisciplinary concepts qualified to consensus will be elaborated which ensure that the patient is not given any contradictory information about the skin pharmaca he has to apply. In this project the pharmaceutical industry concerned and possibly other associations (e.g. self-help groups and consumer associations) responsible for patient information should be integrated.

The department Dermatotherapy - as other GD departments - is open to all ordinary members for an active cooperation . Whoever would like to cooperate or can make contributions for the departmental work should get in contact either with the department head or the GD offices.

Other Departmental Activities

In the course of the GD's ordinary general meeting on the occasion of the 4th GD annual meeting in Freiburg it has been reported in detail about the activities of the three other departments. The department Dermatopharmacology's medium-term objective, headed by professor Dr. Frank Hevert, Freiburg is the publishing of a catalogue with a collection and commenting of dermatopharmacological methods. During the preparation works relating to this project a discussion forum has been established in the GD internet homepage.

A main priority of the department Democosmetics, headed by professor Dr. Rolf Daniels from the Institut für Pharmazeutische Technologie (Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology) of the Technische Universität (Technical University), Braunschweig is the establishing of guidelines regarding different product groups of the dermocosmetical field. The guidelines "Dermocosmetics for the Dry Skin Care" have already been adopted and published in the GD homepage. As a supplement thereto the guidelines "Dermocosmetics for the Cleansing of Dry Skin" will be published shortly. Besides the guidelines work the department is at the disposal of the expert public, the media and sponsoring members of the GD for statements relating to controversial cosmetical ingredients and for inquiries relating to other dermocosmetical problems.

Within the department Extemporaneous Preparations there is a cooperation among dermatologists working in clinics and practices, hospital and laboratory pharmacists, collaborators of the NRF-Laboratory and other experts interested in the dermatological prescription. This wide-ranging composition of the department ensures expert competence for the department's manifold questions, the department head, pharmacist Dr. Bernd Hünerbein, Naumburg, explained. For the department's working results elaborated up to date please refer to the interview with Prof. Max Gloor in this issue. (jk)



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