RxPedition is an interactive drug development serious game designed to teach pharmacy students about the process of bringing a drug candidate to market. Class is divided into several groups and each group plays a role of a small pharmaceutical company. Each group is tasked with identifying a disease state / indication of interest, exploring the preclinical phase, designing clinical trials, providing press releases at critical milestones, presenting results to the FDA for continued approval, and finally developing a drug label.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and the School of Computing and Information (SCI) collaborated to create a web-based educational game called RxPedition. The primary purpose of this system is to simulate all phases of the drug development process, expose learners to research, pharmaceutical, business, and marketing aspects of drug development, as well as to introduce competition and rewards components that make games an impactful educational supplement to traditional didactic lectures.
The game begins with the class being divided into groups of 6, with each group taking on the role of a small pharmaceutical start-up company. Each group is tasked with assessing preclinical information related to four fictional new drugs; identifying which disease state they wish to pursue in order to make the most money for their company; designing the phase one, phase two, and phase three clinical trials; experiencing those trials through mannequin-based simulations; providing a press release following each phase trial; finally presenting results to the FDA for marketing approval. This allows pharmacy students the chance to experience the trials and tribulations of bringing a new drug to market, understanding the process more intrinsically than if it were presented through didactic lectures.