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ABOUT IUPHAR: Introduction


Founded in 1959 as a section of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR) has been independent since 1966.

IUPHAR is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and participates in the work of its scientific committees. It receives international recognition, particularly by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

IUPHAR is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in official relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

IUPHAR is a voluntary, non-profit association representing the interests of pharmacologists around the world. According to its statutes, IUPHAR has Full Members, i.e. national societies, Affiliate Members, and Corporate Members.


The main objectives of IUPHAR are to foster international cooperation in pharmacology by:

promoting cooperation between societies that represent pharmacology and related disciplines throughout the world; sponsoring international and regional congresses and meetings, and helping in their organisation by establishing advisory committees; encouraging international coordination and free exchange of scientists and of ideas in research, adhering to the ICSU Statute 6 concerning non-discrimination without regard to race, religion, political philosophy, ethnic origin, citizenship, language or gender; acting as a body through which pharmacologists can participate with other branches of science in international activities, either directly or under the aegis of international scientific bodies such as ICSU, WHO and UNESCO; helping in all ways the development of pharmacology throughout the world; promoting programmes of public awareness on pharmacological issues.


IUPHAR is governed by the Council, composed of delegates appointed by the members, division and sections, which holds its General Assembly at each World Congress of Pharmacology.

The Council elects an Executive Committee consisting of a President, First and Second Vice-Presidents, a Secretary-General, a Treasurer and five Councillors. The Executive Committee meets annually and is responsible for both the general and scientific administration of IUPHAR.

There is also a Membership Committee, which reviews all applications for membership of IUPHAR and forwards its recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval at its annual meetings.

The Nominating Committee is responsible for soliciting from the members names of individuals who they feel should serve on the next Executive Committee. This committee makes its recommendations to the Council every four years.

The financial records of IUPHAR are approved each year by two independent Auditors, elected by the Council.

The scientific activities of IUPHAR are progressed by experts in the major experimental areas of the discipline. These areas are covered by divisions, sections and committees, which have a certain degree of autonomy but report to both the Executive Committee and the Council.

IUPHAR currently has one Division:

The IUPHAR Division on Clinical Pharmacology

seven Sections:

The IUPHAR Section on Bioinformatics
The IUPHAR Section on Drug Metabolism
The IUPHAR Section on Gastrointestinal Pharmacology
The IUPHAR Section on Neuropsychopharmacology
The IUPHAR Section on Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics
The IUPHAR Section on Safety Pharmacology
The IUPHAR Section on Teaching

and one Committee:

The IUPHAR Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR)


IUPHAR has its own publishing programme, through which the newsletter, directory and scientific compendia are published.

The newsletter, Pharmacology International, is published every June and December. The IUPHAR Member Directory is maintained continually, as an online resource. The scientific compendia are published coincident with each congress.

IUPHAR also provides the IUPHAR Receptor Database, a major on-line repository of characterisation data for receptors and drugs, and the IUPHAR Ion Channels Database.

Official Reports from The IUPHAR Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification are published in Pharmacological Reviews.


IUPHAR currently organises a congress every two years: the World Congress of Pharmacology alternating with the World Congress of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT). National society members may make a bid at the General Assembly to host these congresses. IUPHAR is currently engaged in an effort to strengthen the association between the pre-clinical and therapeutic aspects of pharmacology through combined programmes at the congresses.

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