Alpana Mair

Alpana Mair

Dr Alpana Mair FFRPharmS, MRPharmS, MSc, PhD, IP

Associate Professor


Alpana is responsible for coordinating delivery of Governments work programme, advising Ministers on Quality, Prescribing, safety and effective use of medicines and is Associate Professor at ENU. She is the project coordinator of EU funded project iSIMPATHY and SIMPATHY. She is responsible for development of National Polypharmacy guidance, and quality prescribing guidelines, patient app and shared decision-making tools. Alpana leads work for WHO on Polypharmacy and an expert adviser for WHO on patient and medication safety. For International Foundation of Integrated Care (IFIC), she coordinates the Special Interest Group on Appropriate polypharmacy & Adherence and is EU coordinator for work on Active and Healthy Aging on polypharmacy and adherence to treatment. She is ,Honorary Clinical Fellow, Edinburgh University and affiliate of the Usher institute. She was previously the Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Scotland



Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Expert Adviser MEDSAFE Research project, University of Copenhagen, DENMARK
  • Member of Scottish Science Group Working Group on Role of Science in Policy Making
  • Expert Adviser BEAMER EU £11.6 M Funded Project on Adherence
  • Expert Adviser for WHO Patient Safety Action Plan
  • Expert Member Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain Polypharmacy position paper
  • Expert Adviser WHO Patient Safety Flagship
  • Expert member Prescribing Competencies : Royal Pharmaceutical Society Great Britain
  • Expert Adviser to develop WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm
  • Executive Board member, ESPACOMP, European Society of Persistence Adherence & Compliance
  • European Lead for European Commission DG Sante EU Innovation Partnership Polypharmacy and Adherence Lead
  • Board Member Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain


Conference Organising Activity

  • Member of WHO Scientific committee & session Chair International Conference in Patient Safety
  • Scientific Committee member International Foundation of Integrated Care,
  • Scientific committee Lead, ESPACOMP
  • Chair, Polypharmacy & Adherence SIG, International Foundation on Integrated Care


Editorial Activity

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management


Fellowships and Awards

  • Honorary Senior Clinical Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • Affiliate Usher Institute
  • Scottish Patient Safety and Quality Fellow
  • Faculty Fellow Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain


Grant Reviewer

  • Review of Medication without harm Challenge grant
  • Grant Reviewer-Pharmacy Research UK funding


Invited Speaker

  • Key Note: WHO challenge and Polypharmacy : European HealthCare Alliance
  • Key Note: Polypharmacy and Adherence: BEAMER
  • Improving Quality Prescribing: NES Education Conference
  • Key Note: SIMPATHY and iSIMPATHY,Intereg France :Spain_Optimage
  • Medication Safety in Low income countries: CMO Global Health Conference
  • Implementing The WHO challenge in Scotland: Policy to Practice, WHO & Imperial College London
  • Person Centred Approach to Address Medication Use : EU DigiHealth Conference, Paris
  • Key Note: Delivering from Policy to practice: iSIMPATHY project, PresQuiPP
  • Implementing the WHO Third Global Patient Challenge: Flagship Reports, WHO Patient Safety Collaborative
  • Addressing Polypharmacy and Medication Safety , Oman Ministry of Health
  • Digital solutions to address person centred medicines use: Ageing Fit, Nice
  • Vaccination Safety: International Federation of Pharmacists, Hague
  • Key Note: Pharmacotherapy management systems in Scotland: University of Seville
  • Implementing Polypharmacy and Adherence programmes : IFIC, Oxford, Dublin
  • Key Note:Polypharmacy and age related Disease: Croatian Government
  • Patient Safety : Improving polypharmacy across Europe: International Federation of Pharmacists, Hague
  • Addressing Polypharmacy by targeting High Risk medicines : International Society of Pharmacovigilance, Brazil
  • Findings from SIMPATHY and moving to iSIMPATHY, OPTIMAGE, France
  • Addressing Medication Safety in Adversity & the COVID 19 pandemic, WHO & Imperial College Global Collaborative
  • Pharmacovigilance, prescribing in the Elderly and Polypharmacy , WHO Asia Pacific, India
  • Key Note: Adherence and Ageing: Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh
  • WHO Flagship reports to Address Medication without Harm, WHO, Geneva
  • Health and ageing in the XXI century: University Egas Moniz, Portugal
  • WHO Global Medication Safety Challenge; WHO Uppsala and WHO Asia Pacific, Mysore, India
  • Polypharmacy and Pharmacovigilance: WHO Uppsala Monitoring Centre
  • Key Note: Scottish Polypharmacy guidance and SIMPATHY, Association of UK Pharmacy Hospitals Edinburgh
  • Drug Development and Appropriate Polypharmacy; Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences ,International Federation of Pharmacists, Glasgow
  • Findings from SIMPATHY: European Geriatric Medicines Society, Berlin
  • Scottish Polypharmacy Guidance : UK Medicines Information
  • Patient Safety and Appropriate Polypharmacy; International Federation of Pharmacists, Hague
  • Key note speaker: Findings from SIMPATHY: ESPACOMP conference, Dublin
  • Not another pill : Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Boston, USA
  • Management of Polypharmacy at Scale, Doha, Ministry of Health/ School of Pharmacy Qatar
  • Outcomes of the A1 Action Group: Conference of Partners, European Commission, Brussels ,
  • Integrated Care and Polypharmacy Management, School of Public Health ,University of Lisbon
  • WHO Ministerial Launch of Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication, Bonn without Harm
  • Polypharmacy and pharmacists role: International Federation Pharmacist, Seoul, South Korea
  • Aging Pharmacists Role: International Federation of Pharmacists, Seoul, South Korea
  • Implementing SIMPATHY findings in Portugal, Ministerial meeting, University of Lisbon
  • Sustainable Implementation Of Polypharmacy Reviews : IFIC, Dublin
  • Polypharmacy as a Flagship project: WHO Eastern Mediterranean Ministerial Launch, Oman
  • SIMPATHY project, CHAFEA, Odense, Denmark
  • SIMPATHY implementation ; European Clinical Pharmacists Society, Heidelberg
  • Key note: Policy, Polypharmacy and Adherence, ESPACOMP, Budapest
  • A1 Action Group achievements: SIMPATHY, European Commission Conference of Partners, Brussels
  • Scottish Model of implementing Polypharmacy: International Society of Social Pharmacy ,Aberdeen, 2016
  • Polypharmacy as a Patient Safety issue:, WHO Patient Safety Conference, Florence, Italy
  • SIMPATHY : European Geriatrics Medicines Group, Lisbon
  • Inappropriate polypharmacy, Adherence & SIMPATHY, ESPACOM, Lisbon
  • Undertaking Polypharmacy and SIMPATHY, European Clinical Pharmacists Society, Oslo
  • SIMPATHY: International Foundation of Integrated Care, Barcelona
  • Change Management & Polypharmacy, Health Economics and Policy, Athens, 2016
  • Pharmacist role in Pharmacovigilance, MHRA
  • Pharmacists Role and polypharmacy, European Commission, Brussels
  • Inappropriate Polypharmacy and Adherence, WHO, Japan.
  • Raising the professional bar and Polypharmacy, RPSGB Annual conference,, Birmingham, 2014
  • Management of Polypharmacy, UKMI, Birmingham
  • Prescription for Excellence , Scottish Prescribing Advisers Association Stirling, 2014
  • Prescription for Excellence, European Commission , Brussels
  • Dangers of Polypharmacy ,University of Naples


Membership of Professional Body

  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain


Public/Community Engagement

  • iSIMPATHY ministerial Launch
  • SIMPATHY Ministerial Launch



  • Editorial Team & Reviewer International Journal of Integrated Care
  • Editorial Board & Reviewer Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management
  • Reviewer :Journal of Patient Safety


Visiting Positions

  • Senior Lecturer , School of Pharmacy, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
  • Pharmacy, University of Strathclyde



36 results

Polypharmacy and Integrated Care

Book Chapter
Mair, A., & Alonso, A. (2021)
Polypharmacy and Integrated Care. In V. Amelung, V. Stein, E. Suter, N. Goodwin, E. Nolte, & R. Balicer (Eds.), Handbook Integrated Care (453-477). Cham: Springer.
Safe and effective pharmacological treatment remains one of the greatest challenges in medicine, where models of healthcare delivery lag behind the enormous growth in single d...

Appropriate polypharmacy: a barometer for integrated care

Journal Article
Mair, A., Antoniadou, E., Hendry, A., & Gabrovec, B. (2021)
Appropriate polypharmacy: a barometer for integrated care. Journal of Integrated Care, 29(2), 204-214.
Purpose Polypharmacy, the concurrent use of multiple medicines by one individual, is a common and growing challenge driven by an ageing population and the growing number of pe...

Current evidence on the impact of medication optimization or pharmacological interventions on frailty or aspects of frailty: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Journal Article
Pazan, F., Petrovic, M., Cherubini, A., Onder, G., Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., Denkinger, M., …Wehling, M. (2021)
Current evidence on the impact of medication optimization or pharmacological interventions on frailty or aspects of frailty: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 77(1), 1-12.
Background Frailty and adverse drug effects are linked in the fact that polypharmacy is correlated with the severity of frailty; however, a causal relation has not been proven...

Addressing the Challenge of Polypharmacy

Journal Article
Mair, A., Wilson, M., & Dreischulte, T. (2020)
Addressing the Challenge of Polypharmacy. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, 60(1), 661-681.
Polypharmacy describes the concomitant use of multiple medicines and represents a growing global challenge attributable to aging populations with an increasing prevalence of m...

Quality Prescribing for Chronic Pain: A Guide for Improvement

Chronic Pain Expert group, , & Scottish Government, . (2019)
Quality Prescribing for Chronic Pain: A Guide for Improvement. Edinburgh: Scottish Government

Next-generation ARIA care pathways for rhinitis and asthma: a model for multimorbid chronic diseases

Journal Article
Bousquet, J. J., the ARIA Study Group, , Schünemann, H. J., Togias, A., Erhola, M., Hellings, P. W., …the MASK Study Group, . (2019)
Next-generation ARIA care pathways for rhinitis and asthma: a model for multimorbid chronic diseases. Clinical and Translational Allergy, 9,
Background In all societies, the burden and cost of allergic and chronic respiratory diseases are increasing rapidly. Most economies are struggling to deliver modern health ca...

The polypharmacy programme in Scotland: realistic prescribing

Journal Article
Mair, A., Wilson, M., & Dreischulte, T. (2019)
The polypharmacy programme in Scotland: realistic prescribing. Prescriber, 30(8), 10-16.
Since 2012, NHS Scotland has published a series of polypharmacy guidelines to help clinicians address the many medication‐related problems arising from multimorbidity. Here, A...

Medication Safety in Transitions of Care: Technical Report

World Health Organisation, . (2019)
Medication Safety in Transitions of Care: Technical Report. Geneva: WHO
Medication discrepancies impact almost every patient that moves across transitions of care, e.g. admission to or discharge from hospital. WHO urges countries to prioritise ear...

Medication Safety in High Risk Situations

World Health Organization, . (2019)
Medication Safety in High Risk Situations. Geneva: World Health Organization

Medication safety in polypharmacy: technical report

Mair, A. (2019)
Medication safety in polypharmacy: technical report. Geneva: WHO
As the population ages more people are likely to suffer from multiple long term illness and take multiple medications. It is essential to therefore take a person-centred appro...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Pharmacist Street Outreach for Homeless people
  • Lead for EU funded Joint Action on Frailty subgroup: polypharmacy
  • Chief Investigator/ Project coordinator CHAFEA: SIMPATHY Public Health Funded project

Current Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • Polypharmacy
  • Impact of a National Formulary