Pharmacists can help fight AMR, paper advises

Governments should involve pharmacists in efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance, a new best practice paper from the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) urges. 

The Community Pharmacist Contribution to Tackling AMR was published in response to the European Commission’s new Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance – in particular, its call to make the EU a ‘best practice region’.

The paper provides an overview of the activities and services community pharmacists provide across Europe which help address the issue of AMR, as well as several key recommendations:

  1. Governments are encouraged to involve community pharmacists in AMR Action Plans developed at a national level
  2. Coordinators of the EU Joint Action on AMR and healthcare acquired infections are encouraged to actively involve community pharmacists in the process
  3. Increased collaboration and communication between community pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, health service providers, regulators, industry, patients and the public is encouraged.

According to the European Commission, AMR costs €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion) annually in healthcare costs and lost productivity in the EU alone, as well as threatening several Sustainable Development Goals. P3 recently reported on the WHO’s decision to group antibiotics into three categories in an effort to stem AMR.

PGEU says: “Community pharmacists are often the first and final contact in the health system before a pharmaceutical, a device or another health intervention is supplied. They play pivotal roles in counselling patients and promoting antimicrobial stewardship.

“They provide preventative action, referral, disposal, treatment in the pharmacy and constantly strive for quality improvements and innovation in pharmacy practice.”

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