How Pharmacists Can Fight Antimicrobial Resistance


A pharmacy organization says all health-providers need to help prevent and fight antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is quickly becoming a major global problem, and it’s up to pharmacists (and all health-care providers) to help.

This is according to a recently released International Pharmaceutical Foundation (FIP) statement of policy regarding the control of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). According to FIP, the threat of AMR requires the “mobilization of the whole of society to address this increasingly serious threat.”

Part of this mobilization effort rests with pharmacists. The organization made several recommendations to pharmacists all over the world to help lessen the impact of unnecessary antibiotics and to encourage their safe and proper utilization. Some of the recommendations include:

  • Ensure that antimicrobial medicines are being prescribed, for either human and animal use, based on the authority of a health-care professional. .

  • Discourage the use of improper use of antimicrobials.

  • Ensure that medication use follows the “right patient, right time, right dose” model, and uses the narrowest spectrum of drugs possible.

  • Provide counseling when dispensing antimicrobials on correct usage, and monitor patient adherence.

  • Provide information to prescribers on usage rates.

  • Provide medication disposal options for patients, including educating patients on the correct methods of disposal for antimicrobials.

  • Become involved with providing education on hygiene and sanitation in communities and health-care settings.

  • Encourage the use of flu vaccines to help combat upper respiratory tract infections.

  • Ensure that antimicrobials are obtained from reliable sources.

To help facilitate these practices, FIP is promising to provide educational and legislative support. The organization says it is also supporting the development of new antimicrobial drugs, something that has been a problem in recent years. FIP is also encouraging more data sharing on antimicrobial use and resistance, to better allow researchers and other health-care providers to have the best info possible.

“FIP will continue to support national pharmacy organizations in facilitating the essential contribution of pharmacists to action plans around the world, which include surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use and resistance, their distribution and regulation, and infection prevention and control,” said FIP Vice-President Eduardo Savio.

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