Edited By Morris Brown, Pankaj Sharma, Fraz Mir and Peter Bennett
Published by Elsevier (May 2018)
In the preface of the book, the authors state that “In this computer age, a textbook still plays a coveted role” and I agree. Of course there is a massive volume of information out there in the online world, some of it is accurate and trustworthy and some of it less so. However, there is still the pull of having a physical book on the bookshelf and thumbing through it and adding to your knowledge. In my humble opinion, it will be some time before paper and traditional paper textbooks will become a historical curiosity only available in a museum.
Overall this is an excellent book, covering a vital area –clinical pharmacology. Drugs play an important role in modern practice and it is important for prescribers to have an evidence based and rational background in this topic. I am sure this book will make an important contribution to these aims. It has an illustrious history with the first edition dating back to 1960 but this new edition published this year is very modern and up to date. It is well written and covers a significant amount of information within its just over 700 pages. It is versatile enough to appeal to a large audience including medical students and practicing clinicians at various stages in their career. This is important as drug discovery and modern research never stands still and it is easy to lose sight of the advances and this book will certainly help the reader.
I found even reading small sections of a topic, illuminating and helpful and there is a lot of concentrated information found between its covers. All the editors are British based and so the book gives a good perspective to a UK audience though clearly, there is plenty to satisfy a global audience. There is a good spread of tables and illustrations and the text itself is broken into short segments which add to the ease of readability.
Rather oddly and most unlike Elsevier’s excellent digital companion, I could not access the web version or app version of this book and it may not have been ready at the time of this review. This is a shame as the electronic versions of the publisher’s textbook is really good and most helpful and I would have been keen to access the app based version in particular. I will continue to check it out as it is bundled with the purchase price of the book and adds value to the purchase.
Cost is all important and this book is priced at a reasonable level. I have used at least one previous edition of this book before and found it very handy and useful. I am sure this book will continue the excellent tradition and having an uptodate and modern version ready for modern clinical practice is a boon indeed. For a prescriber being regularly up to date in clinical pharmacology is very important and for many prescribers, this book could be extremely helpful.
Dr Harry Brown