Several pharmacy organizations, including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and leading drug store chains revealed new initiatives to help combat antibiotic resistance at the White House’s “One Health Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship” on June 2.
Several pharmacy organizations, including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and leading drug store chains revealed new initiatives to help combat antibiotic resistance at the White House’s “One Health Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship” on June 2.
The event, convened by President Barack Obama, brought together pharmacy organizations and retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health, and Walmart, along with more than 100 human and animal health leaders involved in antibiotic stewardship. The leaders, which also represented hospitals and healthcare systems, pharmaceutical companies and human and animal health organizations, are committed to antibiotic stewardship, “to change the way antibiotics are currently prescribed and used to slow the spread of drug-resistant infections,” according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At the Forum, ASHP said it will develop standardized pharmacy department antibiotic stewardship program metrics, “which can lead to higher quality data to help improve outcomes,” the organization said in a CDC document. It will take the organization around six months to develop the metrics and then implementation should take place within a year.
ASHP also said it would further foster the development of education, research, and interprofessional collaboration to address the growing problems associated with antibiotic-resistance bacteria. ASHP has devoted signficiant resources to encourage pharmacists to take prominent roles in antimicrobial stewardship programs.
“ASHP is pleased to contribute to this national effort,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, FASHP. “The forum provided a wonderful opportunity to highlight the vital clinical roles that pharmacists play in improving healthcare quality and patient outcomes as key members of the healthcare team,” he added.
Drug store chains’ efforts
Other pharmacy groups and drug store chains also made antibiotic stewardship commitments at the Forum. “Reducing antibiotic resistance has emerged as an important public health issue, and it should be a priority for the nation and even around the world,” Kathleen Jaeger, senior vice president of pharmacy care and patient advocacy for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), told Drug Topics after the meeting. “Pharmacies and pharmacists have a strong track record of helping patients take medications correctly to promote better health and public health, and promoting antibiotic stewardship is entirely consistent with that aim.”
In addition, Walgreens committed to support the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria via patient and practitioner education. The retailer will “focus on education and enabling our pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and our healthcare clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants with the most-up-to date knowledge and information to support patient awareness programs,” said Rick Gates, RPh, vice president of pharmacy operations for Walgreens, in a written statement. The retailer will also maintain its “continued focus of Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants on prescribing protocol.”
Walgreens will also explore a partnership with the CDC on a prescribing protocol for antibiotics. Already, Healthcare Clinics at Walgreens “follow strict guidelines on prescribing of antibiotics, which leads to industry-leading HEDIS scores, based on the appropriate prescribing habits,” Gates said.
Other pharmacy groups that made antibiotic stewardship commitments at the Forum include the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists.