Introduction: One of the main objectives of the national health policy of a country should be designing a strategic program for pharmaceutical research in order to take the best advantage of the allocated funds and to prevent wasting of national resources. This investigation was carried out to assess views of graduate and undergraduate students of Tehran University faculty of pharmacy, about the importance, priorities (applied or basic), problems and opportunities of the pharmaceutical research as well as its impact weaknesses, and its impact on the future careers of students.
Methods: This was a qualitative study carried out by focus group discussion in 2004 for four months on two groups of 6-10 undergraduate and two groups of 6-10 graduate students in the National Research Center for Medical Sciences of Iran.
Results: Results showed that almost all participants believed in the necessity of pharmaceutical research, especially applied research based on demands of our country. Uncompromising rules about research, budget allocation, tardy and uneven appropriation of resources, weak and feckless administration, lack of the research ethos and ethics, paucity of skilled specialists, weak cooperation between universities and industry, lack of research registry system, weak research motives, inadequate inter association and ineffective evaluation systems for research and researchers were mentioned as the main factors impeding pharmaceutical research in Iran. The presence of young population, the country’s scientific history, decent human and financial resources and high potentials of the pharmaceutical industry were considered as strengths of the pharmaceutical research. Most students believed that doing research provides them with better opportunities to live and work abroad.
Conclusion: Results of this study supports the necessity of a strategic plan for pharmaceutical research in Iran and will be used in the development of this program.
Hakim Research Journal 2006 9(1):45-51.