American Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AIPS)
Center - CFP
About AIPS
Center for Forensic Pharmacology

Center for Forensic Pharmacology


The proliferation of adverse events and deaths due to legal and illegal medication use has increased disproportionately to other causes of injury in the past decade. Reasons for this include increased availability of medications, rise in comorbid conditions and complex medication regimens. 

Pharmacology is the study of drug action on biologic systems and encompasses the evaluation and description of therapeutic, toxic, and adverse effects of medications and chemicals. Forensic pharmacology focuses on the detection, analysis, and consultation pertaining to the adverse drug effects that result in harm, criminal activity, or death. Subspecialty areas within forensic pharmacology include pharmacogenomics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, post-mortem pharmacodynamics, as well as environmental and clinical toxicology. Forensic pharmacology services are utilized in a wide variety of settings to provide expert and technical interpretation of both laboratory and clinical information surrounding medication use and misuse.

Forensic pharmacologists are a small specialty community that is challenged with meeting the increasing demand for their services. There is an unmet need for a national organization to support both communication and resources for these specialists. The complexity of forensic pharmacology and the lack of a standardized training and certification have left a void that must be filled.


To provide a nexus for research, medico-legal evaluation, expert witness services and training. Law enforcement, legal evaluations (plaintiffs, defense and prosecution), cause and manner of death, and regulatory activities are supported.

To create a community for the mutual support, mentoring and resource development to advance the proliferation, and evolution of forensic pharmacologists.

To support and promote the evolving field of forensic pharmacology by developing core resources, curriculum, and certification criteria for the specialty. 


Resources –

  • Orientation to legal and judicial systems

  • Directory of specialty publications

  • Collaborative network of practitioners

  • Online specialty library

  • Online case tracking software

  • Forensic pharmacology fellowships

  • Peer-to-Peer mentoring

Services –

  • Certification in forensic pharmacology

  • Medical library support

  • Legal case consultation

  • Investigation review and design

  • Toxicology review

  • Specialty laboratory testing

  • Postmortem case review

  • Forensic research development and management

Events –

  • Forensic pharmacology training

  • Professional development workshops

  • Certification exam preparation

  • Symposia and seminars

  • Continuing education


  • Pharmacists

  • Physicians

  • Nurses

  • Clinical and environment toxicologists

  • Medical examiners

  • Coroners

  • Law enforcement (federal, regional, state, county and city)

  • Hospitals

  • Genetic screening services

  • Reference laboratories

  • Attorneys

  • Public health agencies

  • Healthcare organizations

  • Regulatory agencies and bodies

  • Legislators

  • Pharmaceutical industry