In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

Educational Training Programmes

Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy

Education and research are pillars of the ESC Working Group on Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy. In order to promote and facilitate expanding research activities in Europe, the working group has put together an educational programme that will train and certify individuals who wish to further their career in the field of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.

Upcoming programme events

The Educational Training Programme comprise two different events:


Programme objectives

Reducing the cardiovascular disease burden via pharmacotherapy represents a major challenge that requires specific knowledge and expertise. A multistep approach to the problem is needed to gain insight into the following key areas of knowledge:

  • The identification of new potentially effective pharmacological agents
  • The effective testing of new pharmacological compounds in the clinical setting
  • The complexities of regulatory approval
  • The safe and efficient implementation of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy in clinical practice
  • The specific needs of different patient groups i.e., the older individuals and women
  • Understanding the current unmet needs regarding pharmacotherapy and assessing and implementing evidence-based recommendations

Regarding defined patient groups in whom pharmacotherapy has specific requirements, older patients and women feature prominently. Older patients with cardiovascular disease are often undertreated and/or subjected to inappropriate polypharmacotherapy that leads to poor compliance and potentially serious side effects. Marked knowledge gaps exist in relation to cardiovascular pharmacotherapy in women mainly associated to the fact that treatments are often extrapolated from those that have been shown to be mainly effective in men, dosing is often inappropriate as sparse data exist in the literature regarding gender differences in response to pharmacotherapy due to poor representation of women in clinical trials. Gender specific risk factors are often ignored or neglected.

Healthcare professionals responsible for the management of elderly patients and those involved in the care of women with cardiovascular conditions, as well as trainees aiming to enter these fields, will most likely benefit from the planned WG educational programme.

The 2022-2023 Educational Programme will provide deep insights into:

  • The long journey that brings pharmacological compounds from bench to bedside, i.e. from trial design for testing new drugs (generation and critical appraisal of evidence) to implementation of daily use of pharmacological treatments, of science and patient care;
  • the management of elderly persons with cardiovascular disease; and
  • how to bridge the existing knowledge gaps in the pharmacological treatment of cardiovascular disease in women.

The POP course is expected to improve competency and confidence of participants to:

  • Deliver evidence-based, targeted therapy in older people,
  • Gain insight into problems associated with polypharmacy, adherence and side effects of CV pharmacotherapy
  • Understand how practitioners can make a positive impact on the implementation of treatments in the elderly and improve patient clinical outcomes

The AACT course is expected to improve competency and confidence of participants in:

  • Designing and planning successful clinical trials
  • Evaluating and following the correct processes and regulatory procedures (Good Clinical Practice certification included)
  • Effectively analysing and interpreting trial data by highly interactive workshops on statistics

Who should attend

All courses will appeal to an audience comprising healthcare professionals with clinical/research interest in cardiovascular medicine, e.g., atrial fibrillation, heart failure, hypertension, peripheral vascular and cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease prevention, general cardiology, treatment of coronary artery disease, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, hypertension, etc. More specifically:

  • The POP course will be of particular interest to general physicians, care of the elderly professionals, nurses, cardiologists, nephrologists, diabetologists, trainees in the above-mentioned areas and healthcare professionals dealing with elderly patients in their daily clinical practice.
  • The AACT course focuses on cardiovascular drug therapy and is aimed at clinical cardiologists, clinical pharmacologists and healthcare professionals in general with an interest in translational and clinical research methodologies. Students and trainees will also have an opportunity to acquire or improve knowledge and clinical skills in clinical trial design, management and data interpretation

Steering committee

Prof. Juan Carlos Kaski, UK, Chairperson-Elect (co-director, Pharmacotherapy in Older People course and Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy in Women course)

Prof. Alexander Niessner, Austria, Chairperson

Prof. Heinz Drexel, Austria, Past-Chairperson

Prof. Sven Wassmann, Germany (co-director, All About Clinical Trials course)

Prof. Gianluigi Savarese, Sweden (co-director, All About Clinical Trials course)

Prof. Juan Tamargo, Spain (co-director, Pharmacotherapy in Older People course)

Dr. Anne Grete Semb, Norway (co-director, Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy in Women course)

CME accreditation

ESC submits its educational programmes (including online programmes) to the UEMS-EACCME for accreditation. The European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) is an institution of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) responsible for the evaluation and accreditation of Medical Education Programmes.

Good Clinical Practice Certification

The All About Clinical Trials course is certified in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) which is delivered by AIFA.

GCP is an international ethical and scientific quality standard for the design, conduct, and recording and reporting of clinical trials that involve the participation of human subjects. Anyone managing or conducting research in the National Health Service should be aware of Good Clinical Practice and evidence of GCP training is mandatory for gaining Host Site Approval for a Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMP).

The AACT course provides a review of the fundamentals of Good Clinical Practice. The training is based on the International Conference on Harmonisation GCP guidelines but also introduces The Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations and Amendment Regulations 2006, which have transposed the EU Clinical Trials Directive. All latest additions are included. The course gives an overview of aspects applicable to all research.


“The [All About Clinical Trials] course allowed me not only to gain a deeper insight into the complex process of organising clinical trials, but it also offered an opportunity to discuss specific methodological pitfalls and interpret the results in cooperation with professionals who represent the highest level of expertise in the field. I highly recommend the course both to experienced investigators and to young researchers, since apart from the conventional aspects of clinical trials methodology; it also presented a novel approach to run the research efficiently and successfully.” Aleksandra G─ůsecka, Poland

Previous programme events

The 2021 and early 2022 programme consisted of three different online events: