Press Release

ASHP Publishes Basic Concepts in Medicinal Chemistry

New Text Focuses on Fundamental Concepts that are Essential to Therapeutic Decisions


The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has published a new text on medicinal chemistry, Basic Concepts in Medicinal Chemistry, by Marc W. Harrold, Ph.D., and Robin M. Zavod, Ph.D.

Written in an easy to follow and conversational style, Basic Concepts in Medicinal Chemistry focuses on the fundamental concepts that govern the discipline of medicinal chemistry as well as how and why they are essential to therapeutic decisions.  The book emphasizes functional group analysis and the basics of drug structure evaluation.

In a systematic fashion, readers will learn how to identify and evaluate the functional groups that comprise the structure of a drug molecule and their influences on solubility, absorption, acid/base character, binding interactions, and stereochemical orientation. Relevant Phase I and Phase II metabolic transformations are also discussed for each functional group.
Key features include:  
  • Discussions on the roles and characteristics of organic functional groups, including the identification of acidic and basic functional groups.
  • Discussions related to how to solve problems involving pH, pKa, and ionization; salts and solubility; drug binding interactions; stereochemistry; and drug metabolism. 
  • Numerous examples and expanded discussions for complex concepts.
  • Therapeutic examples that link the importance of medicinal chemistry to pharmacy and healthcare practice.
  • An overview of structure activity relationships (SARs) and concepts that govern drug design.
  • Review questions and practice problems at the end of each chapter that allow readers to test their understanding, with the answers provided in an appendix.
“I am often asked why medicinal chemistry is important in the practice of pharmacy,” said author Marc Harrold, Ph.D. “The answer is that every drug interaction in therapeutic practice begins with the concepts of functional group analysis. Whether you are just starting your education toward a career in a healthcare field or need to brush up on your organic chemistry concepts, we designed this book is to help you navigate this important topic,” he adds.
To place orders for the book, ISBN: 978-1-58528-266-1, and view additional material, please visit  Or, please email or call 1-866-279-0681 (US & Canada), 001-301-664-8700 (International).
To arrange an interview, book signing, or to discuss co-marketing or bulk sales, please contact Rachel Gellman at

About the Authors
Marc W. Harrold, Ph.D.
Marc W. Harrold, Ph.D., is professor of medicinal chemistry at the Mylan School of Pharmacy, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pa. Harrold is the 2011 winner of the Omicron Delta Kappa "Teacher of the Year" award at Duquesne University. He is also the multiyear recipient of the "TOPS" (Teacher of the Pharmacy School) award at the Mylan School of Pharmacy.

Robin M. Zavod, Ph.D.
Robin M. Zavod, Ph.D., is associate professor for pharmaceutical sciences at the Chicago College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, Ill.  Zavod currently serves as editor-in-chief of Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.

About ASHP
ASHP is the national professional organization whose 40,000 members include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students who provide patient care services in hospitals, health systems, and ambulatory clinics. For 70 years, the Society has been on the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP's website,, or its consumer website,


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