Our Research

Our Research

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Contact Details

  Street address:
Level 11, KGV Building
Missenden Road
Postal address:
Post Office Box M30
Missenden Road NSW 2050

Phone: (02) 9515-6111
Fax: (02) 9515-9610

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Pharmacy Aged Care Research Laboratory

Our Research

The impact of ageing on drug disposition and response to medicines.
Includes clinical pharmacological studies in older people, assessing the manner in which age affects response to medicines, age-related patterns of using medications, and how these factors inform the quality use of medicines. Currently he is involved in a trial of deprescribing (i.e. judicious and appropriate cessation of) medications in older individuals.

Ethnic differences in drug response.
Collaborations with GSK studying the impact of geographical ancestry on the response to medicines, to help inform the safe use of medications and new drug development.

Herb-drug interactions.
Investigates the impact of herbal medicines on conventional medicines including insights related to the mechanism and consequences of these interactions.

Therapeutic drug monitoring as a tool for optimised drug therapy.
Current research focuses on antifungal treatments, aiming to individualise and guide optimal pharmacological endpoints by accounting for individual variability in response to these medications.

Optimal anticoagulant use in older people.
Includes the development and assessment of a collaborative model of home-based post-discharge warfarin management service, which was associated with a significantly reduced rate of readmissions and adverse events and improved persistence with therapy, and studies of herb-drug interactions with warfarin.

Optimal treatment of low back pain.
Series of collaborations on the efficacy of various interventions including physiotherapy, NSAIDs and paracetamol in low back pain, which led to two publications in the Lancet (2007 and 2014). The research is now being extended to explore interventions in the management of sciatica and in defining the management model that best serves patients with acute low back pain in the primary care setting.

Optimising anticancer therapies by understanding pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic variability.

Quality use of medicines.
Including the patterns of medicines use and how this relates to quality care and health outcomes in the area of mental health, cardiovascular disease and cancer.


  • Pharmacist of the Year (2006)
  • Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association (APSA) medal (2013)

Research Staff

  • Professor Andrew McLachlan

Higher Degree Students:


  • Fiona Doukas (Person-centred antimicrobial stewardship)
  • Daniel Rifkin (Pharmacy Leadership)
  • Shane Eagles (Effect of broccoli on drug metabolism)
  • Bei-lun Lin (Interactions with TCM)
  • Fatima Sakeena Mohamed Hameem (Antimicrobial resistance in Sri Lanka)
  • Jeffry Adiwidjaja (Clinical pharmacology of anticancer medicines)

Publications and Presentations

Publication Details:
  1. Dolton MJ, Perera V, Pont LG, McLachlan AJ. Terbinafine in combination for the treatment of resistant or refractory mycoses: Investigating optimal dosing regimens using a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2014 ;58(1):48-54.
  2. Abdel Shaheed C, Maher CG, Williams KA, McLachlan AJ. Interventions available over the counter and advice for acute low back pain: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pain 2014; 15(1):2-15.]
  3. Johnston C, Hilmer SN, McLachlan AJ, Matthews ST, Carroll PR, Kirkpatrick CM. The impact of frailty on pharmacokinetics in older people: Using gentamicin population pharmacokinetic modeling to investigate changes in renal drug clearance by glomerular filtration. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2014; 70(5):549-55.
  4. Dolton MJ, Mikus G, Weiss J, Ray J, McLachlan AJ. Understanding variability with voriconazole using a population pharmacokinetic approach: Implications for optimal dosing. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 Jun;69(6):1633-41.
  5. Lowres N, Neubeck L, Salkeld G, Krass I, McLachlan AJ, Redfern J, Bennett AA, Briffa T, Bauman A, Martinez C, Wallenhorst C, Lau JK, Brieger DB, Sy RW, Freedman SB. Feasibility and cost effectiveness of stroke prevention through community screening for AF using iPhone ECG in pharmacies: The SEARCH-AF study. Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2014 Jun;111(6):1167-76
  6. Lehnbom EC, Brien JE, McLachlan AJ. Knowledge and attitudes regarding the personally controlled electronic health record: an Australian national survey. Internal Medicine Journal 2014;44 (4), 406-409.
  7. Dolton MJ, McLachlan AJ. Voriconazole pharmacokinetics and exposure-response relationships: assessing the links between exposure, efficacy and toxicity. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2014 Sep;44(3):183-93.
  8. Perera V, Bies RR, Mo G, Dolton MJ, Carr VJ, McLachlan AJ, Day RO, Polasek TM, Forrest A. Optimal Sampling of Antipsychotic Medicines: A Pharmacometric Approach for Clinical Practice. Brit J Clin Pharmacol 2014 Oct;78(4):800-14.
  9. Williams CM, Maher CG, Latimer J, McLachlan AJ, Hancock MJ, Day RO, Lin CW. Efficacy of paracetamol for acute low-back pain: a double-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2014; 384 (9954): 1586-96.
  10. Dolton MJ, Brüggemann RJ, Burger DM, McLachlan AJ. Understanding variability in posaconazole exposure using an integrated population pharmacokinetic analysis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2014 Nov;58(11):6879-85.
  11. Gnjidic D, Blyth FM, Le Couteur DG, Cumming RG, McLachlan AJ, Handelsman DJ, Seibel M, Waite L, Naganathan V. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in older people: prescribing patterns according to pain prevalence and adherence to clinical guidelines. Pain 2014; 155(9):1814-20.
  12. Abdel Shaheed C, Maher CG, Williams KA, McLachlan AJ. Participation of pharmacists in clinical trial recruitment for low back pain. Int J Clin Pharm 2014; 36(5):986-94.
  13. Dolton MJ, McLachlan AJ. Optimizing azole antifungal therapy in the prophylaxis and treatment of fungal infections. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2014 Dec;27(6):493-500.
  14. Gnjidic D, Naganathan V, Freedman SB, Beer CE, McLachlan AJ, Figtree GA, Hilmer SN. Statins and cognition in older people: what is the evidence? Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2015;10(3):185-93.
  15. Pont LG, Nielen JT, McLachlan AJ, Gnjidic D, Chan L, Cumming RG, Taxis K. Measuring anticholinergic drug exposure in older community-dwelling Australian men: a comparison of four different measures. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Nov;80(5):1169-75.
  16. Abdel Shaheed C, Maher CG, Mak W, Williams KA, McLachlan AJ. The effects of educational interventions on pharmacists' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards low back pain. Int J Clin Pharm. 2015 Aug;37(4):616-25. 
  17. Machado GC, Maher CG, Ferreira PH, Pinheiro MB, Lin CW, Day RO, McLachlan AJ, Ferreira ML. Efficacy and safety of paracetamol for spinal pain and osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo controlled trials. BMJ. 2015 Mar 31;350:h1225.
  18. Rzewuska M, Ferreira M, McLachlan AJ, Machado GC, Maher CG. The efficacy of conservative treatment of osteoporotic compression fractures on acute pain relief: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Eur Spine J. 2015 Apr;24(4):702-14.
  19. Abdel Shaheed C, Maher CG, Williams KA, McLachlan AJ. Pharmacists' views on implementing a disease state management program for low back pain. Aust J Prim Health. 2015 Feb 27.
  20. Chan JG, Tyne AS, Pang A, McLachlan AJ, Perera V, Chan HK. Murine pharmacokinetics of rifapentine delivered as an inhalable dry powder. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 Mar;45(3):319-23.
  21. Ho SS, McLachlan AJ, Chen TF, Hibbs DE, Fois RA. Relationships Between Pharmacovigilance, Molecular, Structural, and Pathway Data: Revealing Mechanisms for Immune-Mediated Drug-Induced Liver Injury. CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol. 2015 Jul;4(7):426-441.
  22. Walpola RL, Fois RA, Carter SR, McLachlan AJ, Chen TF. Validation of a survey tool to assess the patient safety attitudes of pharmacy students. BMJ Open. 2015 Sep 10;5(9):e008442. 
  23. Page A, Potter K, Clifford R, McLachlan A, Etherton-Beer C. Prescribing for Australians living with dementia: study protocol using the Delphi technique. BMJ Open. 2015 Aug 11;5(8):e008048. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008048.
  24. Mathieson S, Kasch R, Maher CG, Pinto RZ, McLachlan A, Koes BW, Lin CWC. Combination drug therapy for low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD011982. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011982.
  25. Abdel Shaheed C, McFarlane B, Maher CG, Williams KA, Bergin J, Matthews A, McLachlan AJ. Investigating the Primary Care Management of Low Back Pain: A Simulated Patient Study. J Pain. 2016 Jan;17(1):27-35.
  26. Jansen J, Naganathan V, Carter SM, McLachlan AJ, Nickel B, Irwig L, Bonner C, Doust J, Colvin J, Heaney A, Turner R, McCaffery K. Too much medicine in older people? Deprescribing through shared decision making. BMJ. 2016 Jun 3;353:i2893.
  27. Abdel Shaheed C, Maher CG, Williams KA, Day R, McLachlan AJ. Efficacy, Tolerability, and Dose-Dependent Effects of Opioid Analgesics for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 May 23. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1251.
  28. Barnes J, McLachlan AJ, Sherwin CM, Enioutina EY. Herbal medicines: challenges in the modern world. Part 1. Australia and New Zealand. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Jul;9(7):905-15.
  29. Mekonnen AB, McLachlan AJ, Brien JA. Pharmacy-led medication reconciliation programmes at hospital transitions: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2016 Apr;41(2):128-44.
  30. Mekonnen AB, McLachlan AJ, Brien JA. Effectiveness of pharmacist-led medication reconciliation programmes on clinical outcomes at hospital transitions: a systematic review and meta-analysis.BMJ Open. 2016 Feb 23;6(2):e010003.
  31. Nath CE, Trotman J, Tiley C, Presgrave P, Joshua D, Kerridge I, Kwan YL, Gurney H, McLachlan AJ, Earl JW, Nivison-Smith I, Zeng L, Shaw PJ. High melphalan exposure is associated with improved overall survival in myeloma patients receiving high dose melphalan and autologous transplantation. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Jul;82(1):149-59.
  32. Abdel Shaheed C, Maher CG, Williams KA, McLachlan AJ. Efficacy and tolerability of muscle relaxants for low back pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Pain. 2016 Jun 22. doi: 10.1002/ejp.907.

Book Chapters:
  1. McLachlan AJ, Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Older People, Chapter 9 in W. Clarke & A. Dasgupta (Eds): Clinical Challenges in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. 2016 Elsevier Inc.



  1. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's NSW Annual Therapeutic Update (March 2015). Medicines and Ageing: Past, Present and Future.
  2. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia's NSW Annual Therapeutic Update (March 2015). Drug interactions that matter.

Research Grants

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Health Services Research McLachlan, Pearson, Banks, Preen, Le Couteur, Dobbins, Etherton-Beer,
Buckley, Viney, Henry
NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines and Ageing  $ 2,446,505.00 2014-2018
NHMRC Project Grant 
Banks, Le Couteur, Pearson,
 McLachlan, Viney, Hilmer, Gnjidic,
Blyth, Joshy
High risk prescribing in older Australians  $    701,371.00 2012-2014
NHMRC Project Grant 
Beer, Potter, Hilmer, Naganathan
A randomised controlled trial of deprescribing to optimise medical therapy for frail older people: the Opti-Med study.  $ 1,444,995.00 2013-2015
NHMRC Project Grant APP1082480 Lin, Maher, McLachlan, Latimer, Billot, Koes  The first placebo-controlled trial of opioid analgesics for acute spinal pain  $    996,237.00 2015-2017
NHMRC Partner -ship Project
Day, Zwar, Reath, Westbrook, Lau,
Baysari, Laba, McLachlan, Runciman
Patient-centred eHealth approach to improving outcomes for gout sufferers  $    660,656.85 2015-2020

Contact details for department

Head of Department: Professor Andrew McLachlan

Department/Unit: Pharmacy Aged Care Research Laboratory
Concord Hospital
Hospital Road
Concord NSW 2139
Telephone: (02) 9767 7373
Facsimile: (02) 9767 6991
Web: http://sydney.edu.au/pharmacy/our-research/achievements/cre/index.shtml
Email: andrew.mclachlan@sydney.edu.au