The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia has welcomed Minister for Health Sussan Ley’s comments regarding the implementation of the national plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance ahead of Global Antibiotic Awareness Week (14-20 November).
“Tackling Australia’s high rate of antibiotic use is a key challenge for all prescribing practitioners, and hospital pharmacists are proud to play an important role in monitoring and reviewing of prescriptions,” says SHPA CEO Ms Kristin Michaels.
“We are proud to support NPS MedicineWise’s Antibiotic Awareness Week.”
“Australian and international studies in hospitals have shown rates of inappropriate antibiotic use of up to 50%” she says.
“Many of our members provide specialised anti-microbial stewardship services to public and private hospitals, and have been effective in improving practice in this area.
“Taking a ‘one-health’ approach makes sense, and we applaud the collaborative approach between the Minister for Health and Aged Care and the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
“However, funding is needed to ensure that anti-microbial stewardship is a priority in the long-term. This is not a challenge that with a ‘quick fix’.”
As the threat from antibiotic resistance grows internationally SHPA has long advocated for antimicrobial resistance to be a priority for pharmacists through efforts such as the Choosing Wisely campaign.
SHPA recommends that prescribers ‘Don’t initiate an antibiotic without an identified indication and a predetermined length of treatment or review date’.
“Research shows that prescribing a routine course of antibiotics significantly increases the chance of an individual carrying a resistant strain of bacteria,” says Michaels.