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Mission and Vision

The International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) is a voluntary, non-profit association representing the interests of pharmacologists around the world through:

  • Promoting international cooperation
  • Sponsoring regional activities
  • Encouraging free exchange of science and ideas
  • Developing public awareness
  • The Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR)
  • The Guide to Pharmacology


Founded in 1959 as a section of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, the International Union of Pharmacology became independent in September, 1965.  The name was changed to the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology in 2006 to better reflect the composition of the membership.

Mission and objectives

Improved health through pharmacology education and research.

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 organization 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 programs of public awareness on pharmacological issues.

[ilink url=”” style=”tick”]Summary of IUPHAR Activities (PDF file)[/ilink]

[ilink url=”” style=”tick”]The Guide to Pharmacology[/ilink]

Originally created in a collaboration between the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and IUPHAR, the website has been developed jointly with funding from the International Council for Science and the Wellcome Trust.  It is intended to become a “one-stop shop” portal to pharmacological information. One of the main aims is to provide a searchable database with quantitative information on drug targets and the prescription medicines and experimental drugs that act on them. The information in the database is presented at two levels: the initial view or landing pages for each target family provide expert-curated overviews of the key properties and selective ligands and tool compounds available. For selected targets more detailed introductory chapters for each family are available along with curated information on the pharmacological, physiological, structural, genetic and pathophysiogical properties of each target. The database is enhanced with hyperlinks to additional information in other databases including Ensembl, UniProt, PubChem, ChEMBL and DrugBank, as well as curated chemical information and literature citations in PubMed.


The newsletter, Pharmacology International, is published every June and December.  It reports on the latest developments within IUPHAR and offers opportunities for member societies to share information about their organizations and meetings.

The IUPHAR Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR) issues official reports, which are published in leading pharmacology journals. The list of all the nomenclature publications is available by clicking here.

The Clinical Pharmacology Division offers seminal publications on matters related to clinical and translational pharmacology healthcare and research. The list of the Clinical Pharmacology Division publications is available by clicking here.

Spheres of influence

IUPHAR is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and participates in the work of its scientific committees. IUPHAR is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in official relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO).  The majority of the national pharmacology societies, as well as some specialty interest and regional-based societies, are members of IUPHAR.  IUPHAR endeavors to offer opportunities to collaborate to researchers in pharmacology for the advancement of the discipline.  Some strategies utilized to date by the IUPHAR and its Division, Sections and Committees include Regional Focused Conferences, in which IUPHAR offers loans for conferences jointly organized by IUPHAR member societies, newsletterscongressesyoung investigator travel and presentation awards.

Career development

IUPHAR offers, a career site specifically dedicated to pharmacologists throughout the world.  A modest fee is charged to Employers who list their available positions.  There is no charge to JobSeekers for posting their curriculum vitae nor for Employers to peruse them. Funds earned through PharmacoCareers support the non-profit activities of IUPHAR.

The IUPHAR Integrative and Organ Systems Pharmacology Initiative, a subcommittee of the Education Section, assists local organizers in delivering one to three day workshops to early career researchers, primarily in developing countries.  Experts are brought in to teach essential laboratory and animal skills, with an emphasis on the 3Rs (replace, reduce, refine).

Enhancing pharmacology in developing countries

IUPHAR dedicates substantial resources to assist emerging economies in instituting and growing pharmacology as a discipline.  These efforts nclude hands-on workshops, symposia, mentoring and free access to The Guide to Pharmacology.  Where applicable, IUPHAR can offer guidance and templates for creating new national pharmacology societies in those countries that do not currently have one.

How to get involved

Volunteers are always welcomed on the many IUPHAR initiatives, committees, division and sections/subcommittees.  For general information, visit the IUPHAR Organization webpage to click on the link(s) to the specific group(s) in which you have an interest, then click on the “How to Join” link. Or register with MyIUPHAR by clicking on the Members tab in the upper right corner of this webpage. For specific information, contact the IUPHAR Administrative Office to inquire about the current volunteer opportunities in your area of expertise or interest.