Whole body pharmacokinetic models

Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(10):883-908. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200342100-00002.


The aim of the current review is to summarise the present status of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling and its applications in drug research, and thus serve as a reference point to people interested in the methodology. The review is structured into three major sections. The first discusses the existing methodologies and techniques of PBPK model development. The second describes some of the most interesting PBPK model implementations published. The final section is devoted to a discussion of the current limitations and the possible future developments of the PBPK modelling approach. The current review is focused on papers dealing with the pharmacokinetics and/or toxicokinetics of medicinal compounds; references discussing PBPK models of environmental compounds are mentioned only if they represent considerable methodological developments or reveal interesting interpretations and/or applications.The major conclusion of the review is that, despite its significant potential, PBPK modelling has not seen the development and implementation it deserves, especially in the drug discovery, research and development processes. The main reason for this is that the successful development and implementation of a PBPK model is seen to require the investment of significant experience, effort, time and resources. Yet, a substantial body of PBPK-related research has been accumulated that can facilitate the PBPK modelling and implementation process. What is probably lagging behind is the expertise component, where the demand for appropriately qualified staff far outreaches availability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pharmacokinetics*